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No. 321
14 January 1983
evolution i
Smash Reagan's Nicaraguan of Pigs:J
Military Victory
to salvador Rebels!
Whither the SWP?
Barnes Denounces
JANUARY 9-The battle for Central
America is on. Since the beginning of
December, Honduras-based counter-
revolutionaries bought and paid for by
the CIA have launched three invasion-
force attacks against Sandinista Nicara-
gua. The "contras" were defeated in
hard fighting by the Nicaragua army
and people's militia. But with more than
650 people killed last year as a result of
the border raids and terrorist actions,
the U.S. is no longer waging a "silent
war" of harassment. The popular
insurrection which overthrew the
bloody Somoza dynasty in 1979 opened
up the prospect for social revolution
throughout the region. And despite the
efforts of the Sandinista National
Liberation Front (FSLN) to conciliate
capitalist forces at home and abroad,
U.S. imperialism is determined to crush
the radical-nationalist regime in Mana-
gua. The issue is sharply posed: socialist
revolution or bloody counterrevolution
in Nicaragua. There is no "third road."
In El Salvador, for half a decade a
civil war has raged pitting the mass of
workers, peasants and radical intellectu-
als against the U.S.-backed oligarchy.
Now a three-month-old offensive by the
left-wing rebels of the Farabundo Marti
National Liberation Front (FMLN) has
pushed government troops out of the
hills and back to the cities, consolidating
a 1,000 square mile "arc ofliberty" along
the northern border. With the U.S.-
backed government on the defensive,
hardliners in the military linked with
fascistic death squad leader (and con-
stituent assembly president) D'Aubuis-
son have revolted against war minister
General Garcia. Despite calls by leaders
of the FMLN and the opposition
Revolutionary Democratic Front
(FOR) to call off the civil war in favor of
a "political solution," the issue is sharply
posed: either military victory for Sal-
vadoran leftist insurgents, or a "peace"
of 200,000 dead.
For the last two years, Reagan & Co.
have drawn the front line of their war
against Communism through the isth-
mus, "America's back yard": Nicara-
gua's a "Soviet surrogate," Salvadoran
leftists are "cat's paws" for Cuba. Ameri-
can liberals, European socialdem'ocrats,
the Mexican government and a whole
host of nationalists! reformists worry
about "another Vietnam" in Central
America. If the whole region is inflamed
with revolt, they fear, it could threaten
capitalist rule throughout the Americas.
Their answer is to endthe war, lay down
the arms and the oppressed masses will
be at peace with their exploiters. This is
nothing short of suicidal. Genuine
communists fight instead to win the war
in which so many tens of thousands have
already shed their blood. The Trotskyist
program of permanent revolution is the
only road to getting rid of the mass
murderers and the oligarchs forever.
This is what the international Spartacist
tendency (iSt) is fighting for.
The Battle for Nicaragua
Evel' since the overthrow of the
Somoza dictatorship, the U.S. has kept
the remnants of his murdering praetori-
an guard in reserve. A year ago Reagan's
National Security Council decided to
unleash these dogs of war against the
Cuban-backed Sandinistas. With mil-
lions of CIA dollars, gusano and
Argentine "advisers," the Somozaist
guardias stepped up their "destabiliza-
tion." As the prospect of a Bay of Pigs II
grew, however, even elements in the
Reagan administration began worrying
about being dragged into another
fiasco. The 5,000 contras in Honduras
planned to stage a full-scale invasion of
Nicaragua behind the screen of U.S.-
Honduran military exercises, scheduled
to begin December 4, thus forcing direct
American intervention. Cooler heads
prevailed in Washington and the joint
exercises were postponed, but the
contras continued with their invasion
On the weekend of December 3-5, as
President Reagan was on his "goodwill
tour" of Latin America, a force of 400
Somozaists backed up by a Honduran
artillery battery just across the border
launched a major battle at Loma Oscura
in Nueva Segovia department. Several
days later, an even larger counterrevolu-
tionary force totaling 900 men launched
a five-day attack (December 8-13)
aimed at conquering the town of Jalapa
and proclaiming it a "provisional
capital." The contras were well
entrenched, having constructed a com-
mand post and more than 1,500yards of
trenches within a couple miles of town.
The Nicaraguans beat off the coordinat-
ed attack, eventually driving the invad-
ers back to Honduras. For the first time
the Sandinistas' Soviet-made T55 tanks
and BTR-60 armored personnel carriers
were deployed to defend Jalapa. And on
Decembel' 15-16 a third force of 200
guardias was defeated in close fighting
in the area of Terrerios, also in Nueva
In the midst of this constant fighting
continued on page 12
absolutely zero points of contact.
So in the light of both of the other documents, the
RT, as an amendment to the Majority document, took
a small paragraph about a "general propaganda
offensive" and replaced it with a significant implement-
ation section: some factory sales, looking toward
industrial fractions, attention to the black movement
and orienting toward building branches in the South
where we had been through a lot of exploration and
contact with the sit-ins and the civil rights movement.
But it was rejected out of hand by the Majority at the
convention. Therefore, the RT rightly refused to
support either.
In part, the Mage/Robertson/White amendment
was a statement that we considered ourselves a real
faction of the SWP, and were quite prepared-if the
Majority accepted an amendment that might well be in
the spirit of the document-to vote for Majority
positions on particular issues. In other words, we were
not for a faction war pure and simple, right or wrong.
But the Majority had other ideas and followed up the
convention by our expulsion from the SWP and YSA,
in which they were aided and abetted by the Healyites
Wohlforth and Mazelis.
The point of the amendment today is simply that our
modest, serious amendment, then denounced as sheer
adventurism, looks like and is such simple sanity and
rational socialist determination as compared to the
gyrations, excesses and irrational actions of the current
Barnesian SWP.
James Robertson
glory? Was it to enmesh the 'Konarmia' in an
engagement from which no order of Kamenev's could
extract it? ., All one can say for certain is that Stalin
was profoundly suspicious of the regrouping, ... that
he did nothing to help it but that he was not guilty of
open insubordination" (our emphasis). No, not open
insubordination-underhanded, treacherous sabotage
and subterfuge! Davies concludes by blaming Tukha-
chevsky for having "angered Egorov and Stalin" and
attributes the Red Army's defeat at Warsaw to this
"cumulative friction"! (Perhaps Trotsky too was guilty
of having "angered" Stalin, his exile and assassination
on Stalin's orders also the result of "cumulative
One of the principal architects of the mechanization
and scientific modernization of the Red Army,
Tukhachevsky's outstanding military career is well
documented. Likewise are the myriad Stalinist lies
LV jU::Jtif'y Lll.c; lIJUlU(;;1 (Jed OrilliClnc Red r\I"IIly
officer whose only crime was to present a potential
threat to Stalin's power. Tukhachevsky's early military.
victories included the rout of the anti-Bolshevik
Kronstadt Uprising in 1921-hardly the act of a "right-
wing Socialist." An improbable characterization as
well of his political deviations: in fact, he bent the stick
continued on page 14
Red Army hero,
victim of
Stalin's terror
and slander.
II January 1983
New York, NY
To the editor:
The last issue of Workers Vanguard [No. 320, 31
December 1982], boxed in the article "Barnestown,
U.S.A.," reprinted a 1963 amendment by the Revolu-
tionary Tendency [RT] in the Socialist Workers Party
to an SWP Political Committee resolution, "Preparing
for the Next Wave of Radicalism in the United States."
Unfortunately, no explanation was given of the
significance and the circumstances in which this
amendment was presented. .
The PC document was the SWP Majority's domestic
resolution for the SWP National Convention. It was
unexceptionable, bland, and devoid of any but the
most routine propagandism. The real meat for the
Majority at that convention lay elsewhere: tuning up
internationally with the Pablo-Mandel revisionists of
the "Fourth International" in good part to be a joint
cheering section for the Cuban Fidelistas and guerrilla-
ism generally. The Majority also passively enthused
over the leaders of the then-eurrent movement for
black civil rights. And the Majority spent some time
debating Arne Swabeck's pro-Maoism.
Meanwhile, Tim Wohlforth's Reorganized Minority
Tendency-a bloc of American Healyites with the
semi-syndicalist Art Philips-presented a 49-page
counterresolution advocating a half dozen massive
agitational campaigns, that the party jump up and
charge in all directions simultaneously. Organizing
Mexicans in the Southwest, for instance, where we had
On the Revolutionary Tendency
direction of Lublin, in order to help Tukhachevsky. But
Stalin feared that Tukhachevsky, after having taken
Warsaw, would 'seize' Lemberg, thus depriving him of
this achievement. Hidden behind the authority of Stalin,
Yegorov did not fulfill the order of the general staff.
Only four days later, when the critical situation of
Tukhachevsky became acute, did the armies ofYegorov
turn north toward Lublin. But it was already too late.
The catastrophe was at hand. In the high councils of the
party and of the army, all knew that the person
responsible for the crushing of Tukhachevsky was
Stalin. The present invasion of Poland and the seizure of
Lemberg is thus for Stalin a revenge for the grandiose
failure of 1920."
- Trotsky, Portraits, Political and Personal
(reprint of an article dated 2 October 1939)
This is confirmed in Wollenberg's The Red Army,
where both Tukhachevsky and Pilsudski are quoted in
detail; their statements fully confirm Trotsky's
account. We have previously written on the 1920
Polish campaign, in particular in our article "The
Bolsheviks and the 'Export of Revolution'," in
Spartacist No. 29, Summer 1980.
Professor Furr's letter cites as his "authority" the
article in Soviet Studies by Norman Davies, an open
admirer of Pilsudski's "iron will." But far from
acquitting Stalin of insubordination, this article in fact
confirms Stalin's deliberate defiance of the directives
of Lenin and the Politburo. Davies acknowledges "the
absence of coordination between the Soviet Western
Command [under Tukhachevsky] and the three armies
of the South-Western Command [led by Stalin and
Yegorov]. Despite an order of 13 August to assist the
Western Front, the South-Western Command played
no significant part in the battle whatsoever .... " He
goes on to describe Stalin's opposition to a planned
division of the South-Western Command which would
have placed a major section under Tukhachevsky's
command: " ... there is definite proof that he accepted
the Politburo's plan with bad grace. On 4 August,
when Lenin informed him of the proposed division of
the South-West Front, he cabled back: 'The Politburo
ought not to bother with such trifles'." After vacillating
under pressure from Stalin, Kamenev finally ordered
the Twelfth Army and the First Cavalry Army (the
n..VllUI"IIllU J lIUI1::..C"alI;;;U Vil 1.3-an ,-,J.\"..I\,..
which Stalin, as political commissar, refused to sign.
According to Davies, Stalin did not directly counter-
mand this order, but instead "ordered the Konarmia
on 12 August to besiege Lw6w, knowing that it was due
to be transferred to the West.... Was it to spite
Tukhachevsky, as Trotsky and other more recent
Soviet commentators have maintained? Was it to win
"y nt:ptlt:s: we tnanK t'rotessor Furr for his letter
drawing our attention to the continuing circulation of
certain timeworn falsehoods regarding Marshal of the
Soviet Union Tukhachevsky. Tukhachevsky a "well-
known anti-Semite and right-wing Socialist"? It is not
surprising to find such defamation is still current-
after all, lots of people still "know" that Lenin was the
Kaiser's agent and Trotsky Hitler's. Underlying the
questions of historic fact raised by Professor Furr is a
crucial political issue: whether Stalin was justified in
liquidating the senior cadres of the Red Army officer
corps on the eve of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet
Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Red Army commander and
Bolshevik since World War I, was executed by Stalin in
1937 as a German spy; his wife and brother died in
prison. He was "rehabilitated" in the Soviet Union in
the course of the 1956 Khrushchev revelations which
exposed a fraction of Stalin's monstrous crimes against
the October Revolution. Obviously only the Kremlin
archives could lay bare the full depth and breadth of
Stalin's murder and defamation of Marshal Tukha-
chevsky. We have drawn on the limited materials at
our disposal to sort out historical fact from Stalinist
falsehood; it seems sufficient for the point at hand. If
other readers believe they have significant new
information to offer on this question, we would be glad
to discuss it further.
Trotsky, in Stalin (1941), wrote of the young
"Until the conquest of power by the Bolsheviks, he had
been a lieutenant in the Tsarist Army. The October
Revolution won him over heart and soul. He not only
offered his services to the Red Army but became a
Communist. He distinguished himself almost immedi-
ately at the front, and within a year had become a
general of the Red Army. His brilliance as a strategist
was acknowledged by admiring foes who were the
victims of that very brilliance."
Trotsky, as Tukhachevsky's immediate commander
during the 1920 Polish campaign, was certainly in a
position to know what occurred then. Writing in
October 1939, shortly after the Hitler-Stalin pact and
the entry of Soviet troops into eastern Poland, Trotsky
gives the following account of Stalin's earlier betrayal:
"But Stalin also has his personal motive for the invasion
of Poland, as almost always, a motive of vengeance. In
1920 Tukhachevsky, the future marshal, led the Red
troops against Warsaw. The future Marshal Yegorov
advanced toward Lemberg [LwDw]. With Yegorov was
Stalin. When it became clear that Tukhachevsky was
menaced on the Vistula by a counterattack, the Moscow
command ordered Yegorov to turn north in the
Dear Sir:
In your interesting article exposing Solidarnosc
("Pilsudski and Counterrevolution in Poland", WV 20
Nov. 1981, p. 7), you state that the failure of the Red
Army's drive in July-August 1920 against Warsaw was
due in part to "Stalin's insubordination."
This is not the opinion of the most recent scholar of
the subject, Professor Norman Davies. In an article in
the anti-communist journal Soviet Studies (Vol. 23,
No.4, April, 1972), Prof. Davies concluded that Stalin
was not guilty of insubordination (p. 584). Davies also
reveals that the "Stalin's insubordination" story is
pushed today by current Soviet defenders of Marshal
Tukhachevsky, who had been in overall command of
the operation against Warsaw for the Red Army.
Soviet historians do not speak of it today, but
Tukhachevsky was a well-known anti-Semite and
right-wing Socialist, not at all unlike the Pilsudski
portrayed in your article. Tukhachevsky's views were
outlined by a friend and ex-comrade in German
captivity, the former French officer Remy Roure
("Pierre Fervacque"), in his book, Le chef de l'armee
rouge ("Head of the Red Army"), 1928 (see pp. 24-5 for
Tukhachevsky's attacks on Jews and Bolsheviks). Far
from repudiating this account, Tukhachevsky kept up
his friendship with Roure until shortly before his
execution in the "military purges" of June, 1937 (see
Fervacque's article in Le Temps, July 24, 1937, p. 3).
I think you should beware of repeating judgments
that echo those of contemporary Soviet historians,
even when, as in this case, the latters' views appear to
correspond with those of Trotsky.
Respectfully yours,
Grover C. Furr III
In Defense of Marshal Tukhachevsky
24 November 1981
Department of English
Montclair State College
Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043
The Editor, Workers Vanguard
Black Youths Killed in Cold Blood
Cop Terror in Miami Ghetto
Jail LAPD Killers of Larry Morris!
14 January 1983 No. 321
Marxist Working-Class Biweekly of
the Sparlacist League of the U.S.
EDITOR Jan Norden
PRODUCTION Darlene Kamiura (Manager),
Noah Wilner
liz Gordon, Mary Jo McAllister,
James Robertson, Reuben Samuels,
Joseph Seymour, MarjOrie Stamberg
Workers Vanguard (USPS 098-770) published
biweekly, skipping an Issue in August and
a week In December, by the Spartaclst
Publishing Co.. 41 Warren Street, New York,
NY 10007. Telephone 732-7862 (Editorial),
732-7861 (Business) Address all corres-
pondence to: Box 1377, GPO, New York, NY
10116 Domestic subSCriptions $500/24
Issues. Second-class postage paid at New
York, NY.
Opinions expressed In signed articles or
letters do not necessallly express the edltollal
27-the day thousands of black workers
and youth, led by the Spartacist League
(SL), stopped the Klan in Washington,
D.C. The bourgeois politicians and the
media have engaged in an orgy of
violence-baiting because they didn't like
what they saw-blacks and reds togeth-
er in action, backed up by the power of
the labor movement, winning an im-
portant victory against the race-
terrorists. Their answer: "Shoot to kill."
The black ghettos in Miami are
isolated and have been taking it from all
sides. The mass, independent labor/
black mobilization in Washington on
November 27 shows the road to victory
against racist attacks. To stop cop
terror, to smash the Klan/Nazis, to
build militant self-defense requires a
break with the Democrats and building
a workers party, based on the unions
and fighting for the ghetto poor. That is
the Trotskyist road of black-white class
struggle to overturn the capitalist
system and win justice against the racist
killers who maintain it.
Cops rampage in
Miami's Overtown
after blacks
explode in fury
over killing of
youth-Cops out
of the ghettol
teargassing and beating anti-Klan dem-
onstrators in front of the White House,
killing a harmless old guy at the
Washington Monument and shooting
two kids in cold blood in Overtown.
They were gunned down in a wanton
fashion at a minimum, but so American.
Reagan's warning is an ominous threat,
asserting the bonapartist power of the
imperialist presidency. He's saying cops
can murder black youth and walk off
scot-free, and the KKK race-hate ter-
rorists can parade the streets from
Washington to Miami ... with the back-
ing of the White House. And black
people are just supposed to eat it.
But black people don't have to eat it.
Reagan was incensed about November
I : = ~
~ ; .5!0=
and Klan terror once and for ail,
through socialist revolution! Jail the
cop killers of Larry Morris!
Which innocent black will become
the next notch of LAPD terror?
The LAPD has a well-deserved
reputation for racist slaughter. Larry
Morris, Eulia Love, Larry Wilkins and
countless others-all killed by the
police in a city run by ex-cop, black
mayor Tom Bradley. Impotent civilian
police review boards, such as proposed
by the reformist Communist Party,
have changed and will change nothing.
LAPD chief "Choke-hold" Gates now
brazenly admits that he personally
ordered massive police spying on all
political "enemies," from the ACLU
and Mayor Bradley to the Maoist
RCP. But when ordered to destroy
intelligence files the cops simply
moved them from police headquarters
to their homes.
What's necessary is a massive
mobilization of labor and blacks
against racist terror, whether it comes
from the cops in blue or their friends in
white sheets. The Spartacist League-
initiated anti-Klan demonstration in
Washington, D.C. November 27th
points the way to ending cop killings
thousands who fled Castro's Cuba for
the "promised land" has created a
desperate competition for even low-paid
menial jobs. Violence is a way of life on
the streets as drug trafficking has
become an "establishment" occupation,
laundered through major banks. Over-
town is only blocks from the opulent
"miracle mile" shopping area. While the
gusanos are greeted with open arms,
black Haitians lucky enough to make it
ashore in their rickety skiffs are carted
off to the Krome Avenue detention
center. Miami blacks are front-line
victims of the bipartisan anti-Soviet war
drive. As Archie Hardwick, a spokes-
man for a private black action group,
noted, "the U.S. government wanted to
show the world that it was better here
than in a communist country like
Cuba," so they gave $2 billion to the
Cuban refugees and cut funds to the
black community to a pittance.
After the 1980 explosion they bull-
dozed the rubble in Liberty City.
Nothing has been done since. Small
businesses took their insurance money
and ran. Black youth unemployment in
the ghetto is now 70 percent. Fed up,
driven to the wall, blacks in Overtown
exploded. However, what happened in
Miami was not a social fight, but an
elemental outburst. It is a measure of the
despair of black America that blacks
respond to injustice by putting the
ghettos to the torch, even if this means
getting shot, beaten and arrested by the
cops. Marxists champion the defense of
the black population against police
terror. But mindless cheering by phony
"socialists" like Workers World(3I De-
cember 1982), which hailed the Miami
"rebellion," can only lead the black
masses' struggle for freedom to a dead
end. What's needed is a revolutionary
program to lead the black masses in a
conscious and organized political
struggle aimed at destroying the root of
race-terror: the capitalist system.
When Reagan was asked about
Miami he replied, "Whether they're
taking place there or Washington or in
any place else, I just don't think there is
any room for that, for violence in the
streets." Well, the only violence we've
seen in D.C. or Miami was the cops
killers of Larry Morris are being
let off scot-free. In one of L.A.'s more
grotesque cop killings, Morris, a 28-
year-old black man, was strangled to
death in his own bathroom on 17 June
1980. The police stormed Morris'
house, beat his cousin David with their
batons, broke into the bathroom and
choked Larry Morris to death-all on
the pretense of having heard gun shots.
No gun was ever found. The "shots"
turned out to be firecrackers.
A county coroner's inquest ruled 9-
to-O that Morris died of strangulation
"at the hands of another other than by
accident"-a legal euphemism for
cold-blooded murder. But in an
unprecedented move the coroner
vetoed his own inquest and certified
that Morris died of heart failure. Now
after two and a half years of"investiga-
tion" designed to whitewash this cop
lynching, the DA's office made it
official January 3: the killer cops will
not be prosecuted.
Black Miami erupted in rage Tues-
day, December 27 when the cops shot a
young black man in the head. Twenty-
one-year-old Nevell Johnson, Jr., a mail
clerk, was playing Pac-Man in an arcade
only blocks from his home that evening.
After they gunned him down, the cops
tried to frame him up on the usual
charges of carrying a concealed weapon,
claiming they "saw a bulge in his shirt
pocket," and "he made a threatening
move." But Jeffrey Hoskins, Johnson's
friend, recounted the real story with
horror, "He never had time to say a
word. They just grabbed him, spun him
around and shot him." Nevell Johnson
died Wednesday night. It was cold-
blooded murder.
Black residents of Overt own, scores
of whom witnessed this racist kill-
ing, exploded in outrage. The cops
moved in to seal off and occupy a 105-
block area just north of downtown and
only a couple of miles from Liberty City.
Another youth, 17-year-old Alonso
Singleton, was gunned down by the cops
outside a frozen food warehouse, and
when it was all over there were two dead,
26 injured and 44 arrests. Less than a
week after the cop atrocities, about a
dozen hooded and robed scum from the
Ku Klux Klan and their leader, Bill
Wilkinson, appeared distributing their
race-hate filth at a busy Miami intersec-
tion. Cops out of the ghetto! Jail the
killer cops! Free the victims of the racist
roundup! Fight Klan terror!
Two years ago Liberty City went up in
smoke when a lily-white jury acquitted
four cops of the bludgeon murder of
black businessman Arthur McDuffie.
The cops and the National Guard sealed
off Liberty City-15 died, 300 were
injured and over 1,000 were arrested in a
racist dragnet. When the courts acquit-
ted the cops who killed McDuffie they
gave the racists in blue a license to kill.
And the Miami police are a particularly
trigger-happy, unsavory bunch. Blacks
become the targets as these killers are
turned loose to "clean up" the city's
image for the tourist industry.
Even the conservative London
Economist recently noticed the obvious
fact, "Miami is not a good city in which
to be black." The massive influx of
14 JANUARY 1983
Ed Karlsen Sp.eaks on National Black Radio
....... 1"
- r J ~ : t
WV Photo
Ed Kartsen, chairman of November
27 Labor/Black Mobilization to Stop
the KKK.
the streets. They wouldn't allow any
other terrorists to walk down the streets,
believe me, but the Klan terrorists were
allowed to do that. That's an education-
al experience. And it has to be codified
in the organizing of a revolutionary
party, organizing a workers party that
will fight for a workers government in
this country.
Law: We'll take another call, from New
York City. This is "Night Talk," you're
on the air.
Caller: I'm with the Spartacus Youth
League, and I was at the demonstration
in Washington. A point that has to be
made is that black people in this country
can't count on the Democratic Party,
whether it's a black face in the Demo-
cratic Party or a white face. Because you
have a black mayor, Marion Barry, and
this black Congressman in Washington,
Fauntroy, and these people just stood
by and did nothing....
Law: Let me ask you this, what would
you have had the mayor do? What did
his powers allow him to do?
Caller: Well, what he did was send out
the cops in order to surround the anti-
fascist fighters, and protect the Klans-
men. And the program of Fauntroy was
to ignore the Klan.
Law: I understand that. I'm saying,
what would you have had a Congress-
enough to say, wait a minute. there's
another side to this, they're not showing
the positiveness. What can we really do
to educate our young people to know
this is serious business? We're talking
about life and death here.
Kartsen: The young black people who
came to that rally learned some history
there, learned from their own actions
what has to be done to stop the Klan.
They saw the cops protecting the Klan,
they saw the government allowing
known race-terrorists to march down
all along the streets. The head of the
rally was the Labor/Black Mobilization
Against the Klan; it was a spontaneous
march all the way up to Lafayette Park.
Law: You were up to the point where the
confrontations broke out. Now, precise-
ly why did that happen?
Kartsen: The march was enthusiastic
and chanting all the way, "We Stopped
the Klan!" We got to the rally site and
continued to chant there. The only
violence that I saw was on the part of the
police firing tear gas in the perimeters of
the demonstration. You see, the point is
really that the main success was ignored,
which was the Klan was stopped from
marching down the streets of Washing-
ton. That was something that they
hadn't been able to do since 1925. To
allow them to do it today, when Reagan
is carrying out the Klan program in the
White House, would have meant a
tremendous escalation of violence in
this country.
Law: Okay, we're going to open the
phones. We're going to take a call from
Passaic, New Jersey.
Caller: I'm 31, so I basically grew up
with the knowledge of the violence and
the genocide the Klan plans against our
people. I was very disturbed over what I
saw on the media. And knowing the
media and how they cover us and our
problems, I was at least intelligent
Law: What happened then? People did
not just go home? What happened at
that point')
Kartsen: As I said, a sense of enthu-
siasm grabbed the whole crowd, which
decided, the streets of Washington don't
belong to the Klan, the streets of
Washington belong to us. The police left
the barricades and people just went into
the streets and marched right up to the
hill where they thought the Klan was.
Then somebody said, let's go where the
Klan said they were going to end their
march. We felt, we've stopped their
march, we stopped them at their rally
site, let's march their route and make
sure they're not rallying even at the end
point. At that point there was a march
ingly black
protest of
5,000 initiated
by SL stops
the KKK in
organizations involved around the
Washington area. In my ,own union, as
well, there was an attempt to mobilize
forces to get down to Washington to
prevent this Klan rally.
The result is that we got an enormous
amount of labor and black support that
mobilized that day the Klan said they
were going to march, early on, [where]
the Klan said they were going to start
their rally. The Klan was going to
demonstrate for extermination of black
people, for smashing unions and cen-
trally that day, demonstrating against
foreign workers. Behind that is the
[program] which they carried out ever
since Reconstruction, which is to drive
black people back into conditions of
The reports had been that the Klan
had come out in their suits and ties,
stuffing their white sheets inside of bags
somewhere, and came out to show they
could be on the streets with the po-
lice surrounding. It was finally an-
nounced-the police found it would
be impossible for them to march down
the streets with the Ku Klux Klan, with
so many people out there outraged
against the Ku Klux Klan. So they
announced the Ku Klux Klan was not
going to march. That sense of victory
captured the whole crowd-it was
indescribable-I've never seen it before
in any rally.
down in Norfolk and Newport News,
Virginia. They in particular, since
they're so close to the Washington area,
were some of the first unions to drive
very hard behind it.
Law: Now, the Spartacist League is a
coalition of unions?
Kartsen: No, the Spartacist League is a
labor / socialist organization that started
the ball rolling. The Spartacist League
has taken a position as part of their
political program that the fascists must
be stopped, that you cannot rely on any
other political force to do that except
labor and black people, the mobiliza-
tion of the people who are the Klan's
intended victims. They had been driving
for a mobilization of all the labor/black
Partisan Defense Committee
Eli'. Mile High Club
3629 Grove Street
Monday, January 24
8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Admission: $5
For more information: (415) 835-1535
* * * * *
Law: I'm Bob Law, the program is
"Night Talk," and we're going to talk to
Ed Kartsen. He's the chairman of the
rally to stop the Ku Klux Klan, and he's
a member of TWU Local 100.
We want to talk about the rally that
took place in Washington, D.C. We
have discussed that somewhat here on
"Night Talk," after looking at the press
coverage of the rally and the confronta-
tions in the street that followed the rally.
We want to know what happened in the
street there Saturday. But maybe we'll
start back before that and talk about
some of the things that were done to
plan the rally. How was it that people
were told about it? Who were the groups
that participated, just how was the rally
put together?
Kartsen: The rally was initiated by the
Spartacist League. The main movement
behind it initially was from the unions
Last month the National Black
Network radio program, "Night Talk,"
discussed the November 27 demon-
stration in Washington, D.C. which
stopped the Ku Klux Klan from
marching in the nation's capital. Moder-
ator Bob Law spoke with Ed Kartsen, a
spokesman for the Labor/Black Mobili-
zation to Stop the KKK, and a member
of Transport Workers Union Local 100
(NYC transit).
The discussion, which lasted three
hours, touched on subjects ranging from
black leadership and the role of labor to
the need for a multi-racial revolutionary
workers party. In order to alibi the black
Democrats woo wanted to let the KKK
march, moderator Law resorted to
scurrilous baiting of the "white left"-
directed at black trade-union militants
and black communists. In this he was
echoing the red-baiting, race-baiting
remarks by D.C. delegate Walter
Fauntroy who denounced "Tarzan
Trotskyites" for bringing out black
trade unionists and youth November 27.
But for many thousands of black
Washingtonians and opponents of
racist terror everywhere the mobiliza-
tion that stopped the KKK was a proud
We print below excerpts from the
December 3 program.
How We Stopped
the KKK November 27
mentality of the politically backwards
leadership of the trade-union movement
and the trade-union movement itself. In
other words, these guys, although
they're corrupt and may play golf with
people on the executive boards of the
corporations, nonetheless, the existence
of the trade unions is an organization of
protection of the workers against what
would otherwise be nothing but brutal
exploitative attacks by the company
against labor. What we need is a militant
leadership of the trade unions, which
has to center on the blacks in the
industrial trade unions. Because the
blacks happen to have a political sense
and a political history of the exploita-
tion in this country, much less illusions
about the American Dream.
Law: We'll take a call from Newark,
New Jersey. This is "Night Talk," you're
on the air.
Caller: To me, if you want to talk about
terrorism, you have the FBI in this
country, you got the Mafia, you got the
Ku Klux Klan. And in every town you
will go into in the United States of
America. the police attempt to put fear,
especially into people of color. It's odd
to me that an organization would like to
stop the KKK, when you have other
Law: What would you have him do
Caller: Well, you can't stop the Klan,
because as long as you are living in this
integrated society. it's racism. We will
never able to stop the Klan, so
therefore what we have to do is separate.
If they don't want to send us back to
Africa where we come from, like the
Messenger said, let us live in separation,
give us some land and territory even in
this country.
Kartsen: The Ku Klux Klan cannot be
stopped? Well, I'll tell you something,
they were stopped on November 27.
They did not march down the streets of
Washington. The value of that demon-
stration can be measured in terms of
lives. of black people's lives, of trade-
union organizers' iives. I reject this
concept of defeatism which can only
perpetuate black people's sense of
impotency, of inability to fight and
Caller: Well, you had the Black Pan-
thers in the '60s. correct? All right, the
United States government with all its
police forces went to the extreme to stop
their movement. And as far as any other
black organizations that were about
liberation for black people-they have
been destroyed. Well, why should we
want to continue to be Americanized,
Kartsen: Why should we continue to be
the victims of racial oppression, or
victims of racist terror? What I'm saying
is what is needed most urgently today is
the sense that you can fight to change
things. You don't have to accept the Ku
Klux Klan. You don't have to accept
exploitation. You don't have to ac-
cept Reagan and Reaganomics. You
don't have to accept a future of
Law: It seems to me what Ed Kartsen is
saying is that the Klan exists right now,
1982, the KIan exists and the KIan is
participating in racist murderous acts.
And we cannot tolerate another murder,
we cannot tolerate another hour of
terrorism. There is an absolute need to
protect our communities right now.
And I don't think that need can be
ignored. I mean, these brothers didn't
"want" to be in Washington on Novem-
ber 27. That wasn't a hip idea, that was a
requirement of history.
We're going back to the phone, we'll
take a call from New York City.
Caller: You know, they're pouring all
this money into the military. And it's
obvious to me, it should be obvious to a
duck, this society just can't support
10-11 million people unemployed. Con-
sequently, we're going to be involved in
a war to cut down some of the numbers
continued on page 15
what happened in the civil rights
movement. in the sense that not only did
you have black people on the streets, but
you had organized labor out there with
tremendous social force and social
power. You talk about turning around
the situation in this country-labor
during the '30s, as we all know, took
over whole factories, whole cities,
provided the spark for what could have
been a complete social overturn of
capitalism in this country. So when we
talk about a leadership, we're talking
about a political organization that can
back up a program that fights for the
interests and rights of working-class
people and all the oppressed. That's
what this demonstration in Washington
is the spark for. As one of the callers
said, it doesn't stop there and it can't
stop there.
Law: We're going to take a call from
KPRF in Kansas City. Ed Kartsen is on
your phone, you're on the air.
Caller: First of all, I agree with the aim
of his organization here, of "Stop the
Klan," this type of thing. Your guest is a
member of TWU, which is a labor
union. I look at the effect of labor
unions on black people. If you look at
the executive structure ofIAM there are
'oery few blacks, probably none. So I
tllinkthat black people are being misled
by the Democratic Party. they're also
being misled by labor unions.
Kartsen: I'd agree with you that the
leadership of the trade-union movement
has been willfully inadequate with
respect to not only taking a stand on
black issues, which involve a tremen-
dous number of their membership, but
they have also shown contempt toward
the interests of their white members as
well. You must have heard about so
many of the sellouts and givebacks that
have occurred throughout this country.
It is pitiful. There has to be a fight for the
correct leadership inside the trade
unions, the election of leaders that are
going to stand on defense of the interests
of workers against the bosses and to
utilize the power.
Caller: Too many blacks in this country
feel that there's a split between manage-
ment and labor. They don't realize that
the president of the TWU or the lAM on
weekends plays golf with the president
of General Electric. And I still think that
black people in this country are still
pawns, no matter whether you're in
management, no matter whether you're
in the union.
Kartsen: There I disagree strongly.
What you've got in this country between
labor and management is a sharp
difference, a sharp clash. And I'm
talking about the interests of the
massive numbers of exploited workers
versus management, which have taken a
beating lately, particularly under Rea-
gan. The attacks on unemployment, the
destruction of PATCO, can be viewed
as nothing else but war on labor.
Law: Let me just ask this, though.
PATCO, before Reagan double-crossed
them, thought that they had a lot in
common. They didn't see any difference
between what Reagan stood for and
what they stood for, and they in fact
were supportive of him.
Kartsen: There's a difference in the
c/o SYL
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Washington Mayor Marion Barry (left) ran out of town when Klan arrived.
Congressman Walter Fauntroy baited anti-Klan protesters as "Tarzan
Kartsen: Maybe that's something that
gets to the core of where we differ. I
would say. a betrayer of black people is
someone who betrays the interests of the
people who they''oe asked for their votes
fight for. Now. a
white member of the left. or a white
worker, or for that matter Latino or any
other. who united around the interests
of us all-that is the interests of the
exploited, working-class people and
oppressed people-you're talking about
fighting for the interests of black people.
And the program of fighting for the
interest of the oppressed-black libera-
tion through socialist revolution-
captures exactly what the strategy has to
be. Those who want some moderation
of that must find themselves in political
betrayaL inevitably. The [Congression-
al] Black Caucus for example, many
members have found themselves oppos-
ing anti-Klan demonstrations.
You see, what happened in Washing-
ton was something that was new
altogether on the 27th. Different from
billion dollar outfits. That's the thing
that constrains the black politician in
the Democratic Party, he must fight for
the political and economic interests of
capitalism in this country.
You notice that Metzger, who was
Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan,
won the Democratic Party nomination
in California. How is it possible that on
the one hand you can have the Grand
Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan running
and at the same time have somebody
claiming to defend black people in the
. same political organization. The Demo-
cratic Party is an obstacle. That's the
problem with these black elected offi-
cials. They have betrayed black people
by opposing these demonstrations.
Law: The point is that when you make a
political analysis of where the failures
are, the failure's in the system not
responding to the question ofjustice. It's
not a black failure. The criticism of
elected officials, as though it is black
politicians who are responsible for the
system not responding correctly, is not
simply unfair, it is politically incorrect.
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. man do, what can a Congressman do
about the Klan marching in Washington?
Caller: Here's the point. These people
are tied in with the system, okay?
They're the people that were in power
when Greensboro happened and these
Klan killers got off scot-free. It's the
Democratic Party which these people
are a part of and the point I'm trying to
make is that you need independent
mobilizations. And you have the other
example, of Coleman Young in Detroit.
Now, we organized a demonstration a
couple of years ago in Detroit, and
Coleman Young did everything to
harass and threaten arrests of the anti-
Klan demonstrators.
Law: Since Marion Barry is not here, or
Coleman Young, let me just raise some
of the opposition to white leftist
organizations coming into the black
community .... The left has a history of
involvement in the black community
that has been characterized by many as
exploitation of black workers. If you're
talking about Coleman Young, if you
look at a black mayor, there are a
number of people in the country who
say that one of the things that we should
do in the cities where we can is to elect
black mayors. That there's still some
goods and services that come through
the mayor's office, there's still some
decisions that are being made by elected
officials that affect the quality of life for
black folk, and where we ought to have a
black mayor. And everybody's pretty
much agreed and understands that the
position of black mayor is one of limited
power. So the question becomes, do we
go to Detroit and then act like we are
surprised when the mayor acts like a
mayor, is that a legitimate criticism?
Kartsen: I'd say one thing about this
question of Coleman Young: how far do
you have to sell your black political soul
to the Democratic Party?
Law: If you ignore the white left, does
that constitute selling your soul to the
Democratic Party?
Kartsen: When you say white and black
left, already we're getting involved in
accepting the categories of white and
black separation. Which is a reality, this
is a segregated country. The only time
that black and white people mostly get
together, and have to work in tight
dependence upon each other, is in the
factories. These are the points of
integration. And these are the points
about which blacks and whites have to
struggle together and unite in a disci-
plined fashion, otherwise be divided and
crushed separately. I think the question
is not black or white left, I think the real
question is one of the elimination of
black oppression, of segregation. And
doing that not in terms of accepting the
already existing power structure, which
is what the black elected officials must
do if they join the Democratic Party,
which is controlled by white, multi-
14 JANUARY 1983
Moral Witchhunt Against Activists
Defend NAMBLA!
New ork City. The cops claimed that
in the December 3 raid on the private
home they and the press call a
"NAMBLA chapter," they discovered a
photograph that "looked like" Etan
The media swung into slanderous
action on the Etan Patz disinformation.
"Did Sex Club Trap This Boy?" asked
Boston's Herald American (20 Decem-
ber 1982) in two-inch headlines. The
New York Post (29 December 1982) did
its part headlining a quote from a Long
Island D.A.: "Man-Boy Network Preys
on Kids." And it wasn't only the
scandal-mongering tabloids which
pushed the lie of "porno ring" and
prostitution-kidnapping "network"
against NAMBLA. The hysteria found
a shrill voice in the respectable New
York Times (28 December 1982) in a
particularly vile piece by Sydney
Schanberg. He tries to frame up
NAMBLA' for the Etan Patz kidnap-
ping with a sinister picture painted with
pure bigotry:
"And if Etan who would now be 10. has
been drawn underground. as is suspect-
ed. into a homosexual organization
known as the North American Man/
Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). he
could have been moved clandestinely by
now to any city or town in the coun-
try.. ,. Does this support network
include kidnapping 6-year-olds? In the
name of what twisted idea of sexual
freedom can anyone justify as 'benevo-
lent' the criminal taking of a first-grade
boy from his parents?"
"What was Mr. Groat doing with the
picture that so mirrors Etan?" demands
Schanberg. The beaten and jailed Groat
must know something. "Since Mr.
Groat refused to help find Etan, perhaps
someone should lose the key to his cell
At a December 28 press conference in
continued on page 14
been beaten. Documents have been
seized. It is all part of what the FBI calls
its "investigation" of NAMBLA.
On December 3, Massachusetts and
New Jersey cops burst into a private
Cape Cod cottage in Wareham, Massa-
chusetts and arrested three NAMBLA
members. David Groat (28), Brett
Portman (26) and Harold Baker (17)
were charged with having sex with
"minors" (a 13-year-old who was visit-
ing the cottage and a 16-year-old youth).
Also, the cops made phony "child
pornography" charges. Groat and Bak-
er have been jailed, Portman is out on
bail. Harold Baker just 18 months ago
was named as an "innocent victim" in
another case, now lie is by law a "dirty
old" teenage criminal.
NAMBLA reports that Groat, who is
the former coordinator of NAMBLA,
has been set up by the jail guards to be
repeatedly beaten by inmates who were
told he was a "child molester." Once he
was beaten to unconsciousness, and had
his teeth knocked out. At the request of
Groat's attorney, in response to the
beatings, he has been transferred to a
psychiatric hospital (Gay Community
News, 18 December 1982).
To justify this witchhunt, the cops
and feds concocted a phony "connec-
tion" between NAMBLA and the much-
publicized disappearance of six-year-
old Etan Patz, missing since May 1979
from his home in the SoHo section of


FP .
WV Photo
SL opposes reactionary age-of-
consent laws.
teenage sexuality goes on at fever pitch:
attacks on the availability of birth
control, abortion and even the miser-
able sex education provided in some
schools. The right-to-lifers and funda-
mentalists see themselves as front-line
soldiers in the sexual "counterrevolu-
tion" to restore the public morality of
the family allegedly so disrupted
during the "liberated" 1960s.
Over the last month the ongoing har-
assment and persecution of NAMBLA
members has increased sharply. Mem-
bers have been arrested on wild,
trumped-up charges. The cops have
broken into their homes. They have
The FBI, the repressive apparatus of
the state, is leading the "Legions of
Decency"-the anti-homosexual bigots
and bashers from the local vice squad,
the Moral Majority bible-thumpers and
a titillated media, the liberal moralizers
of every sort and feminist book-burners
along with the self-appointed arbiters of
"healthy and unhealthy sex"-in a
vengeful crusade against a small group
of homosexual activists. The witch-
hunters have whipped up a campaign of
smear, set-up for violence, arrests and
worse against NAMBLA-the North
American Man/Boy Love Association.
NAMBLA proclaims its purpose as
defending the civil rights of "men and
boys involved in consensual sexual and
other relationships with each other."
For the witchhunters this makes
NAMBLA and its members easy targets
for persecution and prosecution on
"kidnapping" slanders and phony
charges of "child molestation" as the
reactionary age-of-eonsent laws recog-
nize no possibility of consensual sex
between men and youth.
As is often the case, the reactionaries
have launched this dangerous and
vicious COINTELPRO-type operation
under the banner of protecting children.
It is a banner used most spectacularly
for similar purpose in Anita Bryant's
anti-homosexual "Save Our Children"
campaign a few years ago. And in
Reagan's America the crusade against
Return Kid to Leftist Mother!
Anti-Communist Kidnapping
On December 21, San Mateo County
(California) Superior Court judge Ger-
ald Regan ruled that Tina Stevenson, a
supporter of the Revolutionary Com-
munist Party (RCP), would get her 11-
year-old daughter Riva back at the end
of the school year after a two year
custody battle. Regan's ruling reversed
an August 1981 decision by commis-
sioner James Browning that granted the
father, Ted Fishman, temporary cus-
tody because of alleged neglect. This
was a government-sanctioned kidnap-
ping in pursuit of an anti-eommunist
legal vendetta against a left-wing politi-
cal activist. It should never have
happened in the first place! Riva should
be returned to her mother immediately!
. Tina Stevenson and her youngest
daughter Riva lived in Chicago. Fish-
man, Stevenson's ex-husband, who
already has custody of an elderdaugh-
ter, hid his plan to file for a change of
Riva's custody until she was in Califor-
nia for a visit two years ago. Judge
James Browning approved Fishman's
request to grant him temporary custody
on the grounds that "an emergency
situation due to neglect does exist." The
motivation was explicitly political. Tina
Stevenson was declared an "unfit"
mother because of her radical political
beliefs. Fishman's petition states:
"Ernestine has become more and more
involved in political activities, speci-
fically those of the Revolutionary
Communist Party of the U.S.A., a
Chicago based political organization
advocating the violent overthrow of the
present government of this country.
Ernestine's political activities of recent
date have all been to the detriment of
our daughter ... "
And attached to the petition was an
article about the felony charges against
Tina stemming from the Washington,
D.C. "Mao Defendants" case.
In his ruling Browning admitted that
Riva, a straight-A student, was
"unquestionably well cared for." But he
argued that Tina Stevenson had with-
held the more "intangible aspects of
parenting," has "a preoccupation with
interests other than parenting," and that
the court could take Riva away simply
because her mother faced felony
cqarges. Judge Browning's message is
clear: a woman's place is in the home ...
and certainly not in a cell meeting!
Browning rejected the testimony of a
court-appointed social worker who
argued no emergency situation existed
and instead allegedly based his decision
chiefly on the testimony of Riva. This
after a previous ruling which awarded
Stevenson custody in the first place
noted Fishman's attempts to line up the
children against their mother!
The state has tried to deny the
political character of this punitive
campaign and claims that it is the
amount of time Tina spends away from
home that makes her an unfit mother.
But what really bugs them is what she
does when she's away from home. If Ms.
Stevenson spent her time with the PTA,
the girl scouts, or the church there'd be
no custody case. Jack Murphy, Fish-
man's attorney, laid the cards on the
table: "The woman can't be trusted
because she has no values; she doesn't
believe in the system." The threat to take
children away from left-wing, homosex-
ual or interracial households is a
particularly vicious form of blackmail.
If they can take Tina Stevenson's child,
any parent could be next. Keep the
bourgeois state out of people's private
The legal kidnapping of Riva Fish-
man is a direct outgrowth of the "Mao
Defend'ants" case. In January 1979,
Tina Stevenson was arrested along with
78 others after a clash with the police at
a demonstration in Washington, D.C.
protesting the state visit of Chinese
deputy prime minister Deng Xiaoping,
only days after the RCP's adventurist/
provocative attack on the Chinese
embassy. Tina and ten others faced trial
on federal felony charges. Bob Avakian,
the megalomaniacal leader of the
politically berserk Mao loyalists of the
RCP, fled to France and sought
(unsuccessfully) political refugee status.
After a three-and-a-half-year legal
battle the government dropped all
charges against Avakian (who remains
in France), and Tina and the other
defendants pleaded guilty to misde-
meanor charges. Tina was fined $50 and
given three months probation. After the
D. C. trial one of the federal prosecutors
told her, "You'll pay in your own flesh
and blood for this."
This is clearly a political vendetta
orchestrated by the government. In the
custody hearing, collaboration between
Fishman's attorney and the federal
prosecutors of the "Mao Defendants"
was admitted. Judge Browning, who
initially ruled in Fishman's favor, was
an active agent in COINTELPRO
operations against left-wing organiza-
tions in the 1970s, including the Revolu-
tionary Union (RU), predecessor of the
RCP. As Nixon's head U.S. attorney in
Northern California he prosecuted draft
resisters, tried to send Panther leader
David Hilliard to prison for allegedly
threatening the life of President Nixon,
and presided over the FBI break-in
operations which targeted the RU.
Browning was eventually forced to
disqualify himself from this case be-
cause he was "too close." In October
1981, Tina's probation officer was
removed because he. wrote a brief
against taking the child. The newly
assigned officer, Dan Daugherty, made
clear the political motives of the
government in his interrogation of Tina:
"Are you second in command of the
RCP, if not who is? What is the
guarantee that you won't take Riva and
go to France, after all Bob Avakian is in
France and he is your leader?"
The government-sanctioned kidnap-
ping of Tina Stevenson's child is an
outrage. There's a history to this
politically motivated child snatching. In
1980, the U.S. government grabbed 12-
year-old Walter Polovchak (the freckle-
faced baby dissident who didn't want to
leave his bicycle) from his parents when
they wanted to return to the Soviet
Union, and made him a cause in
its anti-Soviet campaign. Ordinarily the
bourgeois state tries to enforce the
values and norms of the nuclear family
on everybody. But when it comes to
reds, they break up the family as a cruel
means of victimization.
Spartacist League/
Spartacus Youth League
Public Offices
Bay Area
Fri.: 5:00-8:00 p.m.. Sat: 300-6:00 pm
1634 Telegraph. 3rd Floor (near 17th Street)
Oakland. California Phone (415) 835-1535
Tues. 5:30-9:00 pm., Sat. 2:00-530 p.m.
523 S Plymouth Court, 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois Phone (312) 427-0003
New York City
Tues.. 600-9:00 pm., Sat.:12 00-4:00 p.m
41 Warren SI (one block below
Chambers SI near Church St)
New York, NY Phone (212) 267-1025
Trotskyist League
of Canada
SaL 100-500 pm
299 Queen SI W. SUite 502
Toronto, Ontario Phone (416) 593-4138
The Strange Case of Provocateur Alan Gelfand
Healyite Slanders and SWP Cowards
October 28, 1982
SWP stonewalls on Gelfand provocation.
Socialist Workers _
14 Charles Lane. New York. NY 10014 212/242-5530
Spartacist League
c/o Rachel Wolkenstein
299 Broadway
New York, N.Y.
tion is equally a crime against all
working-class organizations, who have
the right and duty to smash Gelfand's
precedent for government snooping and
witchhunting against the left.
In August 1982, the newspaper of the
American Healyites, the Bulletin, glee-
fully reported that the SWP's motion
for summary judgment in the Gelfand
case had been denied. In October 1982
attorney Rachel Wolkenstein on behalf
of the SL wrote to the SWP asking for
information enabling us to cover the
lawsuit in our own press. We think the
letter speaks for itself, as does the SWP's
two-sentence reply to us.
The SL's expressed interest in the case
probably helped the SWP to figure out
that the issue could not be buried
forever. In any case, the SWP National
Committee plenum held in early De-
cember was embarrassedly self-critical
about the public silence. The SWP
finally made some public acknowledg-
ment of the case at the convention of its
youth group held in Chicago over New
Year's. But incredibly, the report did not
mention the Healyites at all, much less
their years-long slander campaign
against Hansen. If ever a policy were
guaranteed to lend credence to Healy's
baseless slanders, this is it.
Instead of covering over the "Healy
connection," the SWP should acquaint
the American radical public with Hea-
ly's long and sordid history of going to
the capitalist courts against his political
opponents. In England right now, Healy
is pursuing a vicious two-year legal
effort to muzzle arid bankfupfas'ifiarr-
socialist current on the fringes of the
Labour Party, the "Socialist Organiser"
grouping of Sean Matgamna. Taking
exception to some hostile political
characterizations of the Healy organiza-
tion which appeared in a January 1981
Socialist Organiser article, Healy simply
sued for "libel" under Britain's draconi-
an libel laws. When Matgamna com-
plained, the Healyites gave the rich
man's answer, coyly suggesting the little
group should hire itself some good
The SWP is unfortunately not unique
in its criminally sectarian refusal to
mount an aggressive public defense
against legal provocation. Progressive
Labor (PL), the target of a vicious civil
suit by the Los Angeles police, similarly
rejects the support of other left organi-
zations, all of whom have a stake in a PL
victory over this assault on their
existence and rights.
One doesn't have to agree with or
even like the SWP or PL to recognize
the need for substantial and urgent
support in these important cases. In this
spirit, we are publishing the Wolken-
stein letter and the SWP's reply for the
information of our readers.
Nothing to Cover Up,
But SWP Covers Up Anyway
The uninformed observer might
imagine that the SWP, in elementary
self-defense, would seek broad support
for its rights and its good name in this
important legal case, much as Hansen
did when Healy's "accomplice" smear
first started. But the uninformed obser-
ver would be reckoning without Jack
Barnes' singular capacity for political
stupidity. Incredibly, the SWP's public
press has said not one single word about
the Gelfand case since it began! Appar-
ently Barnes & Co. made a deliberate
decision to treat the lawsuit as some
kind of guilty secret-as if Healy's
threadbare lies were impossible to
answer. This is a crime not only against
the members of the SWP but against the
late Joe Hansen and all the founding
Trotskyist leaders whose reputations
are being dragged through the mud. The
SWP's failure to mount a vigorous
public counterattack aimed at mobiliz-
ing support against Gelfand's provoca-
SWP on January 11. He then brought
suit against the SWP charging the
expulsion resulted from FBI control of
the party, and citing all of Healy's crazy
lies to "prove" it. Gelfand's suit claims
the government has the right to inter-
vene in the internal life of left organiza-
tions, ostensibly to enforce their adher-
ence to their own rules. It would be
difficult to overstate the danger posed
by this case, which if upheld would give
the capitalist state a license to "regulate"
the internal life of working-class organi-
zations. That in this case the disgruntled
ex-"member" was from the outset
evidently a Healyite plant only adds
insult to injury.
This is in response to your letter, postmarked October 21,
which has been referred to me for reply.
The Socialist Workers Party will not provide any assistance
to the Spartacist League.

Socialist Workers Party
League campaigned actively against
Healy's slanders, including picketing
Healyite meetings with signs demand-
ing, "Who Gave Healy His Security
Much of Healy's smear campaign
centered on Hansen's role as a main
SWP contact with the bourgeois au-
thorities in the investigation of Trot-
sky's murder. This confidential work,
testifying to Hansen's position of trust
in the Trotskyist movement, constituted
the core of Healy's "evidence." In 1975-
76 Hansen published point-by-point
refutations of Healy's claims as well as
statements of support from prominent
left political spokesmen (including
Spartacist national chairman James
Robertson), veterans of the Trotskyist
movement of Trotsky's time, etc. These
materials effectively laid Healy's base-
less slanders to rest.
Indeed Healy's "evidence," where
there is any, itself refutes Healy's claims.
For example, prominently featured in
the Healyites' press was a letter from
Hansen to the American Consul in
Mexico City (regarding the Trotskyists'
attempts to unravel the identity of
Trotsky's assassin). Healy claims that
this shows secret contact between
Hansen and the FBI behind the backs of
the SWP. Unfortunately for Healy,
Hansen's letter gives as his return
address 116 University Place in New
York-which was at the time the SWP's
own national headquarters!
The Gelfand lawsuit is the latest
round in Healy's scurrilous, paranoid
vendetta. In January 1979 the SWP
discovered to its horror that Gelfand
had filed a "friend of the court" brief in
the SWP's own lawsuit against the FBI.
Gelfand was hastily expelled from the
We reprint below an exchange of
correspondence between the Spartacist
League (SL) and the Socialist Workers
Party (SWP). The SWP was for 35 years
the Trotskyist organization in this
country, but in the early 1960s it
abandoned Trotskyism in all but name
and, passing rapidly through centrism,
transformed itself into an eccentric
reformist formation.
In our last issue, WV explored the
internal wrangling now at an advanced
stage in the SWP (see "Barnestown,
U.S.A.," WV No. 320, 31 December
1982). We laid particular emphasis on
SWP head Jack Barnes' ongoing purge
of survivors of the old revolutionary
party, noting that the SWP's decisive
break from Trotskyism did not auto-
matically expunge all aspects of human
and organizational continuity with the
old party:
"Long after the Trotskyist content was
gone, some elements of basic organiza-
tional competence and professionalism
still functioned ... something that could
still organize a demonstration, write a
polemic, co-opt an opponent, run a
defense case.... "
We noted that the "age purge" process
unleashed by Barnes, particularly fol-
lowing the death of SWP revisionist
theoretician Joseph Hansen in 1979,
had systematically destroyed those
residues, citing in particular "the very
strange case of Alan Gelfand" as a
demonstration of the hard-to-believe
ineptness of today's SWP.
Alan Gelfand is a lawyer and a
political agent of the Gerry Healy
group, an unstable and sinister British-
based tendency which after years of
shamelessly opportunist political ban-
ditry jumped from the ranks of the
workers movement into the political
service of certain Arab governments. In
1979 Gelfand sued the SWP in federal
The very strange case of Alan Gelfand
began in 1977 when Gelfand surfaced in
the Los Angeles SWP as a mouthpiece
for Healy's "Security and the Fourth
International" slander campaign
against the SWP. The campaign,
launched in the Healyite press in 1975,
claimed the central leaders of the SWP
were actually long-time agents of the
capitalist and Stalinist secret police. In
particular, the slander campaign target-
ed Joseph Hansen, who had .served as
secretary to Leon Trotsky in Mexico, as
an "accomplice" to the assassination of
Trotsky by the Stalinist GPU in 1940.
Healy's loathsome lies-echoing the
discredited Stalinist tales that Trotsky's
murder was carried out by his own
people-were an assault not only
against the SWP of today but against
the revolutionary past of the SWP
whose Trotskyist work we claim as part
of our own history. So the Spartacist
Rachel H. Wolkenstein
Attorney at Law
299 Broadway
New York, New York
October, 1982
Shelly Davis
Attorney at Law
Socialist Workers Party
410 West Street
New York, New York
Re: Gelfand vs. S WP et al.
Dear Ms. Davis:
In my telephone conversation with
you on 5 October 1982 I requested
access to and a copy of the public court
record of Gelfand vs. S WP, et al. This
14 JANUARY 1983
request was made on behalf of the
Spartacist League/U.S. and the interna-
tional Spartacist tendency (iSt). Al-
though this record is available to the
public from the federal court clerk in
Los Angeles, California, given the
location and volume of the file, I
thought it expeditious to try to secure
access to and a copy of the court record
from your office. Additionally, I have
since learned that permission is needed
from one of the attorneys on the lawsuit
to gain access to the depositions taken of
the Socialist Workers Party defendants.
Of course, I offered to pay all costs for
Your response, after consultation
with your client, was to inform me that
the request must be "made in writing, on
official letterhead, containing the rea-
sons for the request." Since those
reasons were given to you in our phone
conversation, I am perplexed as to the
rationale for this prerequisite to deter-
mining whether you will assist the
Spartacist League/iSt in obtaining
access to the Gelfand court record.
However, because of the seriousness of
the issues posed by this lawsuit, com-
pelling the Spartacist League/iSt to take
a stand, the reasons for this, request are
restated herein.
The Spartacist League/iSt became
aware of the gravity of this lawsuit after
the appearance of an article in the
August 6, 1982 issue of the Bulletin
stating that a Federal District Court
judge denied the Socialist Workers
Party defendants' motion for summary
judgment. Reportedly, the court held
this case for trial after finding factual
support for Gelfand's claim that his
expulsion from the SWP was due to
government manipulation and control
of the SWP.
It is apparent that Gelfand's case was
instituted and is financed by the Work-
ers League/Workers Revolutionary
Party/ International Committee of the
Fourth International. This lawsuit is a
continuation of Gerry Healy's vicious
slander campaign against Joseph Han-
sen, accusing him of having been an
continued on page JJ
Whither the SWP?
Barnes Denounces
Preserve the Trotskyist Heritage!
library has 95+ percent of the
English-language Internal and Inter-
national bulletins of the Trotskyist
movement, we are missing some,
especially in the 1940-1942 period.
We have a selection of the letters
exchanged between Cannon, Dunne
and Cochran in 1938 concerning key
trade-union issues. We lack the
mimeographed material which was
circulated by American Trotskyists
from March to August 1937, during
the entry into the SP.
Xeroxes of the originals are for us
nearly as satisfactory as the originals
themselves. Please contact us.
Prometheus Research Library
Box 185, Canal St. Station
New York, NY 10013
"Trotskyism, that term itself, I
predict, none of us will call our-
selves before this decade's out. In
fact, if I'm right that what Trotsky-
ism originated as was a fake term
by the Stalinists ... Trotskyism as
such doesn't have much value as a
-Jack Barnes.
31 December 1982
On New Year's eve, at a Socialist
Workers Party (SWP) public meeting in
Chicago, SWP head Jack Barnes finally
declared outright what has been the
reality for two decades: the SWP is not
the Trotskyist party in this country.
Barnes announced that "80 percent of
those on a world scale who call
themselves Trotskyists ... are hopeless,
irreformable sectarians." Barnes' two
and a half hour speech, delivered as the
highlight of the annual convention of
the SWP's youth group, centered on a
barrage of attacks on the Trotskyist
theory of permanent revolution: "The
permanent revolution, if these things are
true, is not a correct generalization, or
an adequate one, or one that doesn't
open up more problems than it
solves...." By "these things," Barnes
referred to his idea of a "fusion" with the
"revolutionaries" of the Nicaraguan
Sandinistas, the Grenadan New Jewel
Movement, the Salvadoran and Cuban
Communist Parties (CPs). "We are not
Trotskyists ... " Barnes revealed, and
truer words have never passed his lips.
We must stop here to alert our readers
to the fact that our quotations from
Barnes' speech cannot be up to our usual
standard of accuracy, thanks to the
SWP having excluded our known
observers from the meeting. For the first
time in years, the SL was not permitted
an observer in the youth conference; one
of the first points on the agenda was a
proposal to exclude the SL, lumping us
together with the dubious Workers
League (which presently subordinates
itself to squalid anti-working-class Near
Eastern military and religious dictator-
ships and which is presently engaged in
attacking the SWP through the capital-
ist courts-see material on the Alan
Gelfand case in this issue). The exclu-
Dear archivally-minded comrades in
and around the SWP,
Our research library has substan-
tial archival holdings of the early
American Communist Party and
American Trotskyism, but with
significant gaps. Weare highly
interested in obtaining more of and
preserving this material, especially
since much of it was qriginally
published only in poor-quality
'mimeograph or faint carbon copy.
Our collection of early Trotskyist
Political Committee and Plenum
minutes is fairly complete from 1931-
1936, but has major gaps in the 1936-
1956 period. From 1956-1964 our
collection is substantial, but with
significant omissions. While the
Like the Stalinists, SWP falsifies Leninism to attack Trotskyism.
sion was motivated by the claim the SL a significant event and an unusual one.
had tried to "disrupt the convention by Organizations whose lip-service to
passing out their leaflet and selling their Marxist tradition has been long since
newspaper"! Barnes' public talk was emptied of content nonetheless shy
attended by about 1200, about 400 more away from outright renunciation of
than participated in the youth conven- their claims to "continuity." Take the
tion itself. furor of the last several years inside
It will not be news to regular readers various West European CPs over the
of WV that the reformist SWP is not explicit dropping of the "dictatorship of
Trotskyist. The Spartacist League, as the proletariat." In real political line,
the authentic Trotskyists of this coun- displayed a thousand ways, the craven
try, has dealt extensively in our press reformist CPs have had for decades
with the key programmatic positions utterly nothing to do with the Leninist
defining the SWP politically as a program of proletarian class power. Yet
reformist party, from its calls for U.S. the repudiation of "d of the p" by the
aid to Nicaragua (fully in harmony with Spanish CP, for example, was neverthe-
the imperialist liberals who fear Rea- less a real political event, brought on by
gan's intransigence will force the Sandi- the heightening of Cold War tensions
nistas down "the Cuban road") to its which made pro-Moscow parties, no
opposition to militant mobilizations matter how slavishly reformist and
based on the power of labor and social-patriotic in fact, unacceptable
minorities to stop fascist terror here at participants in capitalist "coalition"
home. But we have been rather negligent governments.
in commenting on the "theoretical" Even an organization on a vastly
disputes of SWP ideologues over smaller scale, like the SWP, ordinarily
"Trotskyism," which have about the possesses a considerable stake in its
character of Stalinist discussions about historic "labels," particularly since the
Leninism-the grotesque perversion of SWP has been in the Trotskyist
the revolutionary thrust in the service of business-first in political fact and then
reformist appetite. as an empty label-for upwards of 50
But for any party the explicit years. The explicit anti-Trotskyism of
renunciation of long-standing "isms" is the living thought of Jack Barnes will
cost something. In the SWP right now
there are two distinct, substantial right-
wing minorities looking for a way out of
Barnestown. Perhaps Barnes welcomes
their further alienation as saving him the
trouble of some expulsions. But even
among the hardened Barnesite refor-
mists of the majority, now rather
desperately tailing after local Stalinists
and radical-nationalists, some elements
surely maintain a programmatically
empty sentimental attachment to Trot-
skyism; there are Pathfinder Publishers'
Trotsky books which have brought in
considerable revenues; there are surely
some older ex-members who have
continued supporting the SWP finan-
cially under the illusion it maintained
some continuity with the organization
they remember.
Then there's the tricky question of the
SWP's relations with its European bloc
partners of the "United Secretariat"
(USec), with whom the SWP has been in
an almost constant state of war during
the 20 years of SWPjUSec fraternal
assocIatIOn. Hostilities are presently at
fever pitch, and Barnes now explicitly
writes the USee off in declaring that 80
percent of the world's "Trotskyists"
are hopeless sectarians. While Barnes
certainly shouldn't mind splitting
with these "hopeless" people, his ex-
plicit attack on Trotskyism provides
them with unhoped-for polemical
"The Transition Years"
Jack Barnes has ruled the SWP with
an increasingly iron hand since the mid-
1960s. He has consolidated his control
particularly against remaining party
old-timers, with tactics ranging from the
use of "emeritus" status to get older
leaders off the National Committee to
conspicuous sneering at the idea of
listening to party veterans' reservations
about his organizationally adventurist
ideas of union "tactics."
As the SWP's machine-boss leader,
Barnes' first contributions to SWP
"theory" tended to consist mainly of
slogans systematizing the SWP's refor-
mist program, along the lines of "if you
like feminism, you'll love socialism."
But following the death of Joseph
Hansen in 1979, Barnes emerged as the
international "theoretician" of his party.
Now Barnes' "new" creative contribu-
tions (actually, they are old, old
menshevistjStalinist attacks on Trot-
skyism) are making their appearance in
Earlier signs included especially the
recent articles by Barnesite hack Doug
Jenness denouncing Trotsky's analysis
of the 1917 Russian October Revolu-
tion, as well as some provocative
symbolic acts. For example, the list of
revolutionaries in the youth convention
brochure was: Marx, Engels, Lenin-no
Trotsky. Or take Barnes' description
(SWP Internal Bulletin No. I in 1982,
September 1982) of upcoming titles in
Farrell Dobbs' series on "Revolutionary
Continuity": according to Barnes, Part
III covering the years through 1959 is to
be titled "The Trotskyist Years," while
the next volume will be "The Transition
Transition to what, you may well ask.
In exchange for what influence, to
conciliate what allies, does Barnes
undertake the tricky business of explic-
itly disavowing Trotskyism? "Every
time a party fuses with other parties it
itself changes, and that's the road
forward," says Barnes. That Barnes'
eccentric, shrinking formation is in the
mood for a "fusion" we don't doubt-
but with whom?
Barnes' target, according to his New
Year's eve speech, is Central America,
"where the most important thinking in
the world is going on." Barnes' modest
proposal is for a "common world
Marxist movement" comprising the
SWP and the Central American "revo-
lutionary" forces. And who are they?
Well, there's the government of Nicara-
gua, the radical-nationalist Sandinistas
whose program of conciliating the "anti-
Somoza capitalists" in a "mixed econo-
my" runs smack up against the necessity
to break the social power of the
capitalist class in Nicaragua, particular-
ly in the face of U. S. provocation and
CO ... "rrtt
completing its own revolution! The
complete victory of the revolution,
through the intermediacy of the 'demo-
cratic dictatorship of the proletariat and
peasantry,' would purge the land of
medievalism; invest the development of
Russian capitalism with American
tempo, strengthen the proletariat in the
city and village and make really possible
the struggle for socialism. On the other
hand, the victory of the Russian
revolution would give tremendous
impetus to the socialist revolution in the
West, while the latter would not only
protect Russia from the dangers of
restoration but would also enable the
Russian proletariat to come to the
conquest of power in a comparatively
brief historical period."
3) Permanent Revolution: "the
complete victory of the democratic
revolution in Russia is conceivable only
in the form of the dictatorship of the
proletariat, leaning on the peasantry.
The dictatorship of the proletariat,
which would inevitably place on the
order of the day not only democratic but
socialistic tasks as well, would at the
same time give a powerful impetus to the
international socialist revolution. Only
the victory of the proletariat in the West
could protect Russia from bourgeois
restoration and assure it the possibility
of rounding out the establishment of
socialism. "
In 1917, "Lenin was obliged to alter
his perspective, in direct conflict with
the old cadres of his party." The October
Revolution was the historic test, and
confirmed Trotsky's prognosis. There
ceased to be "debate" on the character of
the Revolution after 1917 because the
question was solved by the revolution's
course. When Lenin appeared before
the Petrograd Soviet several days after
the insurrection, he announced, "We
shall now proceed to construct the
Socialist order!"
Lenin vacated his algebraic "demo-
cratic dictatorship" theory in April
1917. His "Letters on Tactics" states:
"We have side by side, exiting together,
simultaneously, both the rule of the
bourgeoisie (the government of Lvov
and Gruchkov) and a revolutionary-
democratic dictatorship of the proletar-
iat and the peasantry, which is voluntar-
ily ceding power to the bourgeoisie,
voluntarily making itself an appendage
of the bourgeoisie....
"This 'second government' has itself
ceded the power to the bourgeoisie. has
chained itself to the bourgeois
"Is this reality covered by Comrade
Kamenev's old-Bolshevik formula.
which says that 'the bourgeois-
democratic revolution is not
"It is not. The formula is obsolete. It is
continued on page 10
Revolution in
action: Russian
workers march
In Petrograd,
1917. Bolshevik
banner reads:
"Down with the
War! Down with
. the Capitalist
line against Menshevik retormism was
the inadequate formula of the "demo-
cratic dictatorship of the proletariat and
peasantry," postulating the class rule of
two classes. Lenin's greatness was
precisely that he did not pare down his
revolutionary program to fit an inade-
quate formula, but seized the possibility
presented in life to lead the proletariat to
the conquest of state power, through the
revolutionary combat party he had built
for that purpose.
In so doing he confirmed the theory of
permanent revolution, which had
predicted that in the period of imperial-
ist decay the weak ruling classes of the
backward nations could not and would
not play the progressive role associated
with the bourgeois revolutions of the
earlier epoch. Thus the "democratic
tasks" once addressed by the old
"enlightenment" bourgeoisie-e.g., na-
tional self-determination, destruction of
feudal class relations in the countryside,
abolition of the monarchy, universal
suffraie, etc.-could be achieved in
countnes like Russia only under the
class rule of the revolutionary
proletariat, which itself had become
more powerful, being now concentrated
in large industrial enterprises and
For Barnes, the theory of permanent
revolution is "sectarian" and "ultra-
left," and was never accepted by Lenin
in word or deed. Indeed, Barnes goes so
far as to delicately accuse Trotsky of
lying about Lenin's positions: "This is
the only thing I can remember Trotsky
ever writing which I believe is factually
false"! To explore this question, some
review of the debates surrounding the
Russian Revolution is in order.
In his introduction to the first
Russian edition of The Permanent
Revolution, Trotsky noted that for
Stalin & Co. the theory of permanent
revolution "represents the original sin of
'Trotskyism'." He placed the debate in
its distinct historical context. In his
"Three Concepts ofthe Russian Revolu-
tion" (August 1939), a work of crystal-
line precision, he defined three major
arguments on "the historical nature of
the Russian Revolution and its future
course of development." These were:
I) The Menshevik view: "the victory of
the Russian bourgeois revolution was
possible only under the leadership of the
liberal bourgeoisie and must put the
latter in power. Later the democratic
regime would let the Russian proletari-
at, with incomparably greater success
than heretofore, catch up with its elder
Western brothers on the road of the
struggle for Socialism."
2) Lenin's perspective: "the backward
Russian bourgeoisie is incapable of
Failing reformist
o party seeks
franchise: will
alter principles
to suit
Daniel Ortega,
New Jewel
Maurice Bishop
and Fidei Castro
Contact Jack
Barnes (left).
Perspectiva Mundial
perspective of working-class independ-
ence from all wings of the bourgeoisie,
the only road to victory. Our strategy is
the construction of Leninist vanguard
parties to lead the proletariat, at the
head of the poor peasant masses, to the
seizure of power (this is the core of the
theory of "permanent revolution"). For
Barnes & Co., this is precisely the time
to formally denounce permanent revo-
lution. smear Trotsky and relegate the
struggles of the Fourth International
explicitly to the "old days" before
Permanent Revolution:
"Sectarian and Ultra-Left"
Barnes began his speech with exten-
sive paraphrases from the recent works
of one Schafik Jorge Handal, general
secretary of the Salvadoran CP. But
most of the talk had a more familiar
ring-familiar, th"t is, to anyone who
has ever read or heard the classical
reformist arguments against Trotsky-
ism. Barnes' recitation of the early
Trotsky's errors as a left Menshevik in
opposition to Bolshevism, for the
purpose of dismissing Trotsky the
Leninist revolutionary, might have
been lifted outright from Carl David-
son's "expose" of Trotskyism ("left in
form, right in essence") which appeared
some years back in the Guardian.
Barnes then castigates the theory of
permanent revolution as flawed in 1905,
wrong in 1917 and flatly "ultra-left" in
China in 1928.
The theory of permanent revolution
was tested first and foremost in the
Russian Revolution. The theory antic-
ipated the change in Lenin's own
thinking as he made the transformation,
under the pressure of events, from
revolutionary social-democrat to com-
munist. By the time of the Prague
Congress of 1912, Lenin was a commu-
nist on the organizational question. But
his views on the precise class character
of the revolution in Russia were still
evolving. Prior to April 1917, Lenin
sought to oppose the old Menshevik
(subsequently, Stalinist) schema that
Russia required a "two-stage revolu-
tion"-first a "democratic" revolution
under the leadership of the "democratic
bourgeoisie," and only after a period of
capitalist development, a "socialist"
stage. But his formula for drawing the

the regionalization of the Central
American insurgency. Then there's the
Castro regime in Cuba, which as an
article of Barnesite faith is defined as
bearing no resemblance to the Stalinist
sellouts in Russia-this despite the fact
that the Cuban and Russian Stalinist
regimes demonstrably agree on just
about everything. And let's not forget El
Salvador, where Barnes' "revolution-
aries worthy of the name" are the CP: a
month ago, the SWP announced inter-
nally Barnes' discovery that the BPR
faction of Cayetano Carpio (which the
SWP, along with the Marcyites and
others, had been assiduously courting
all this time) was less "proletarian" than
the CP wing.
The question of power is posed in
Central America as the sadistic oli-
garchies backed to the hilt by U.S.
imperialism are confronted in one
country after another with popular
rebellions. The Nicaraguan leaders
temporize with the "patriotic" bourgeoi-
sie and seek to placate the Pentagon by
refusing to provide arms to the Salva-
doran insurgents; the Salvadoran lead-
ers' perspective is a negotiated "political
solution" which would rob the plebeian
masses of the victory they are fighting
and dying for; the Cuban leaders alibi
their support to "progressive" military
juntas from Peru to Brazil with the
argument that Latin America is not
"ready for socialism." These nationalists
and Stalinists, in the illusion of pacify-
ing U.S. imperialism, are only setting
the Central American masses up for
popular-frontist tragedies like Allende's
"peaceful road" in Chile, which infuriat-
ed the domestic capitalists and militar-
ists (and the multinationals and the
CIA) without decisively breaking their
power, thereby paving the way for
General Pinochet's bloodbath. To be
sure, American imperialist warmonger-
ing has the Central American left
ideologues talking out of both sides of
their mouths; along comes the SWP,
selectively quoting like mad, and voila,
new "revolutionaries of action" are
For authentic Trotskyists, the revolu-
tionary struggles in Central America,
the heroic resistance of the masses, the
arguments over strategy present a
crucial opportunity to win subjective
revolutionaries in the region to the
14 JANUARY 1983 9
(continued from page 9)
no good at all. It is dead. And there is no
use trying to revive it. ... "
Adolph Joffe's final letter to Trotsky,
quoted in Trotsky's My Life, also
verified Lenin's adherence to permanent
"This [decades of joint work and
friendship] gives me the right to tell you
in parting what I think you are mistaken
in. I have never doubted the rightness of
the road you pointed out, and as you
know I have gone with you for more
than twenty years, since the days of
'permanent revolution,' But I have
always believed that you lacked Lenin's
unbending will, his unwillingness to
yield, his readiness even to remain alone
on the path that he thought right in the
anticipation of a future majority.... I
told you repeatedly that with my own
ears I had heard Lenin admit that even
in 1905 you, and not he, were right."
China and Permanent
The rise of the Stalinist bureaucracy
in Russia, its acquisition of counterrev-
olutionary consciousness codified in the
slogan of"socialism in one country" and
the Stalinization of the Communist
International resulted in defeat after
defeat for the world proletariat. In
China, Stalin's policy was not the
ambiguous "revolutionary democratic
dictatorship" but the Menshevik theory
of "stages. " It could hardly be otherwise,
as 1917 had resolved once and for all the
question of whether there could be any
genuinely democratic solution short of
proletarian rule. In The Permanent
Revolution Trotsky had summarized:
"The great historic significance of
Lenin's formula lay in the fact that,
under the conditions of a new historical
epoch, it probed to the end one of the
most important theoretical and political
questions, namely the question of the
degree of political independence attain-
able by the various petty-bourgeois
groupings, above all, the peasantry.
Thanks to its completeness, the Bolshe-
vik experience of 1905-17 firmly bolted
the door against the 'democratic
dictatorship'. "
Elsewhere in the book, Trotsky quotes
" ... the whole history of revolution, the
whole history of political development
throughout the nineteenth century,
teaches us that the peasant follows the
worker or the bourgeois.... The eco-
nomic structure of capitalist society is
such that the ruling forces in it can only
be capital or the proletariat which
overthrows it."
-"The Deception of the People
by Slogans of Freedom and
Equality," May 1919
Permanent revolution, confirmed
positively in 1917, was confirmed in the
negative in the defeat of the Chinese
proletariat in 1927-28 at the hands of
their bourgeois Kuomintang "allies."
The debate on China was simply over
whether or not to subordinate the
Chinese workers and peasants to the
The selection of names for the
buses going to the November 27
Labor/Black Mobilization to Stop
the KKK in Washington, D.C. was
more accurately described in Young
Spartacus No. 105 (December 1982-
January 1983) than in Workers
Vanguard. YSp noted that the
contingent from New York was
somewhat facetiously dubbed the
Yuri Andropov Brigade "as a sardon-
ic jibe at the rather large number of
ex-SL members headed for D.C."
WV (No. 319, 10 December 1982)
had called it a "factional jibe." We
were, of course, pleased to see so
many former Spartacist League
members, without however making
political concessions to them.
In the article "Why They Lie" ( WV
No. 320, 31 December) we wrote that
native bourgeoisie, a debate in which
Barnes says Trotsky "bent the stick to
the left." Since 1924, in the China debate
and up to the present day, the debate
over "permanent revolution" between
Stalinism (Menshevism) and Trotsky-
ism (Bolshevism) has been the struggle
between the advocates of "alliances"
with the bourgeoisie ("anti-fascist,"
"anti-feudal," "anti-imperialist" to be
sure) and those who struggled for the
independent mobilization of the prole-
tariat, the vanguard of all the exploited
and oppressed, against all wings of the
class enemy.
In The Permanent Revolution,
Trotsky imagines a conversation be-
tween a Communist from the East and
an apologist for the Stalinized Comin-
tern over the question of what is the
"democratic dictatorship":
"'But won't you please tell us what this
slogan looks like in actuality? How was
it realized in your country?'
'In our country it was realized in the
shape of Kerenskyism in the epoch of
dual power.'
'Can we tell our workers that the slogan
of the democratic dictatorship will be
realized in our country in the shape of
our own national Kerenskyism?'
'Come, come! Not at all! No worker will
adopt such a slogan; Kerenskyis_m is
servility to the bourgeoisie and betrayal
of the working people.'
'But what, then, must we tell our
workers?' the Communist of the East
asks despondently.
'You must tell them,' impatiently
answers [the Stalinist] Kuusinen, the
man on duty, 'that the democratic
dictatorship is the one that Lenin
conceived of with regard to the future
democratic revolution'
If the Communist of the East is not
lacking in sense, he will seek to rejoin:
'But didn't Lenin explain in 1918 that
the democratic dictatorship found its
genuine and true realization only in the
October Revolution which established
the dictatorship of the proletariat?
Would it not be better to orient the
party and the working class precisely
toward this prospect?'
'Under no circumstances. Do not even
dare to think about it. Why, that is the
per-r-r-manent r-r-r-evolution! That's
Barnes' attack on Trotsky's 1928
China position is a fundamental state-
ment of anti-Trotskyism. In the year
"We strongly suspect that the RWL
[Revolutionary Workers League]
was not even in Washington on
November 27." But no. Even though
they got even the date of the anti-
Klan demonstration wrong (twice
referring to November 25), and
simply invented their account about
the SL, the RWL was there. In
Workers World (3 December 1982)
we saw a picture of an All-Peoples
Congress goon squad, and there in
the second row was none other than
leading RWL supporter Shanta
Driver. Apparently Shanta was too
busy holding back the outraged
militants and ghetto youth who
wanted to leave the Marcyite liberal
talkathon to get at the Klan to notice
that several thousand anti-KKK
militants had marched up to and
occupied Lafayette Square-the
Klan's advertised rally site-with the
Spartacist League in the lead.
beheaded in
1927 by
Kuomintang in
Trotskyism as
"ultra-left" for
warning that
coalition with
Chiang Kai-shek
would lead to
1928, the Left Opposition issued its
Criticism of the Draft Program of the
Comintern, which marked the decisive
extension of Trotskyism from a revolu-
tionary opposition to the Stalinist
degeneration of the Soviet Union into
an international political tendency. It
was over China that Trotsky first put
forward the theory of permanent revo-
lution not as particular to Russian
conditions but as generally applicable to
the whole colonial world. In dismissing
Trotsky as some kind of ultra-leftist on
China, therefore, Barnes is actually
attacking Trotsky's program for all the
countries under the yoke of imperialism.
The refusal of reformist working-
class leaderships to break with the
bourgeoisie and struggle for proletarian
state power has led to bloody defeat
from Spain to Indonesia to Chile. Less
frequently, under certain exceptional
conditions (including centrally the
absence of the organized working class
as a contender for power in its own
right), Stalinist- or petty-bourgeois-Ied
peasant-based guerrilla movements
have come to power in countries like
China, Cuba, Vietnam. The result has
been new bureaucratized workers states
on a national-Stalinist program-i.e.,
counterrevolutionary in their pnlicies
beyond their own borders, thus mini-
mizing the shift in the world balance of
forces. Yet these deformed social revo-
lutions are themselves partial confirma-
tions of the theory of permanent
revolution, as these leaderships were
forced-in opposition to their stated
programs-to go over to the expropria-
tion of the bourgeoisie and the adoption
of the socialized property forms first
established by the victory of the October
Revolution, as the only way to achieve
genuine national liberation and to
address classically bourgeois-
democratic tasks like land reform.
The applicability of permanent
revolution to the struggles of today has
never been more urgent, or more
obvious. Take for example the struggle
of the Palestinian masses against class
and national oppression. For as long as
we can remember, the SWP and its
USec allies have hailed something called
"the Arab Revolution" as a great anti-
imperialist struggle embracing the
hideously oppressed Arab workers and
peasants and their rulers. Has it ever
been clearer than it is today that the
"anti-Zionist" oil sheiks, the nationalist
colonels, etc. who rule the Arab states
are not "allies of the Palestinian
struggle" but grotesquely subservient to
imperialism? The road to Palestinian
liberation lies through united class
struggle by the Arab, Hebrew-speaking
and other toilers of the Near East
against Zionismand against all the Arab
exploiters, and the creation by the
proletariat of a Socialist Federation of
the Near East.
Fidel Castro or Judge Griesa?
Whatever emotional satisfaction
Barnes may derive from sneering at
those who "read Comintern documents
through permanent revolution eyes,"
denouncing Trotsky still doesn't make
the SWP much of a candidate for the
Sandinista or Fidelista franchise. The
SWP's yearning for reformist "respecta-
bility" necessarily conflicts with its
passion for Castro when push really
comes to shove-Fidel Castro or Judge
Griesa? An early indicator of the
already rotted fibre of the SWP was the
party's response nearly 20 years ago to
the assassination of John F. Kennedy,
mortal enemy of the Cuban Revolution,
architect of the Bay of Pigs invasion,
whose CIA buddies made numerous
attempts on Castro's life. When Ken-
nedy was shot, allegedly by Lee Harvey
Oswald, publicly identified as a member
of the SWP's "Fair Play for Cuba"
Committee, the SWP wrote: "We
extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs.
Kennedy and the children in their
personal grief.... Political terrorism,
like suppression of political freedom,
violates the democratic rights of all
Americans.... " (Militant, 2 December
1963). The same issue of the Militant
approvingly featured a statement by
Chief Justice Earl Warren, with the
SWP adding the headline, "At the
Moment of Crisis There Were Voices of
Sanity." To his credit, Castro did not
send condolences; in fact, he used the
occasion to remind the world that the
U.S. imperialist chief had acted in "a
spirit of aggression and hostility" to
On the 20th anniversary of the Cuban
Revolution, Barnes displayed his
unique brand of Castroism: "The Castro
leadership began their struggle not by
taking up arms, but by doing something
we emulated 20 years later-they filed
suit against the government. When
Batista made his coup in 1952, Fidel
went to court ...."
Or take the question of the arms race,
not a small matter in a period of frenzied
anti-Soviet war drive. In 1977 Joe
Hansen excoriated the Russians: "it is
clear that Brezhnev must be blamed for
failing to seize the initiative on disarma-
ment." In a 1980 speech on Afghanistan,
Barnes suggested Brezhnev "go on
television and announce that the USSR
is destroying a big part of its' nuclear
arsenal and propose to Washington a
schedule to destroy the rest." If the
SWP's counsels of unilateral disarma-
ment for the Russians had been heeded
by the Kremlin, who can doubt that
Cuba would already have been smashed
or reduced to irradiated rubble? That's
"defense of the Cuban Revolution,"
SWP style.
But the real question is: what does
Barnes think he has to offer the Central
American and Cuban CPs that anybody
could possibly want? We are reminded
of a diplomatic mission made by
Mikoyan to Cuba after Castro's revolu-
tion, at a time that both Russia and
China were bidding for Cuba's alle-
giance. What Mikoyan told the Cubans
was, roughly: look, we can supply you
with all kinds of things-petroleum,
grain, machine tools from Czech facto-
ries, the most advanced weaponry, you
name it. And what can you get from the
Chinese? Only an unlimited supply of
human blood plasma.
Well, at least the Chinese had
something to offer-after all, they do
have state power in China. What does
Barnes have? Now if the SWP were the
dominant force in a major wing of the
Democratic Party, that could be worth
something to the Cubans and Central
Americans looking down the Ameri-
cans' gunsights-they might believe the
SWP's influence in leading bourgeois
circles could mitigate the drive toward
American military intervention. But the
main asset the SWP has is the copy-
rights on some of Trotsky's books.
Fidel is unlikely to pay much atten-
tion to Barnes' speech. Somebody who
surely will pay attention is Ernest
Mandel, leading spokesman for the
SWP's not-so-fraternal fraternal bud-
dies of the European USec. The USec
has been fuming as the SWP tears up
Mandel's English section; meanwhile,
the USec has been monkeying around
among the SWP minorities and expel-
lees. Particularly in this context, we can
Hundreds of Blacks on Death Row
Executioners Go to Work
in Reagan's America
"He's got plenty of good veins," the
prison "doctor" said approvingly. And
so the medical technicians strapped the
black prisoner to a table, inserted a
catheter needle into a vein of each arm,
and injected him with a triple dose of
lethal drugs. Seven minutes later 40-
year-old Charlie Brooks, J r. was pro-
nounced dead. The scene was not in a
Nazi concentration camp 40 years ago
but a Texas prison last month. It was
still state murder.
Ominously, Brooks was the first
black prisoner to be executed since the
1976 Supreme Court decision which
declared the death penalty to be consti-
tutional (reversing the previous 1972
Court decision). And Brooks was not a
Gary Gilmore, who "wanted to die" in
1977, but a man who fought his
execution to the end, and told his
would-be wife to "be strong" moments
before his death. Outside the building
where he lay dying, a bunch of racist
white students cheered the legal lynch-
ing with signs like "Kill 'em in vein."
They didn't need white sheets because it
was all "legal."
Brooks' execution may have opened
the floodgates for an orgy of racist state-
enforced murders. According to the
NAACP Legal Defense Fund's statis-
tics, of the 1,138 prisoners now sitting
on death row across the country, a
disproportionate 43 percent are black-
a reflection of racist "justice" in capital-
ist America.
A Legal Lynching
Liberal lawyers have complained
about the government's rush to execute
Brooks, although they have failed to
explain it. "If you go to the Fifth Circuit
[Court] you will find a live appeal and a
dead plaintiff," remarked Texas ACLU
director John Duncan. The normal
process of appeal was abruptly cut short
despite the fact that the state never even
bothered to prove whether it was
Brooks or his partner Woodie Loudres
who committed the murder which they
both convicted of. Loudres had a
separate trial and escaped the death
penalty, and will be eligible for parole in
about six years.
The liberals focus on the disparity of
sentences, the arbitrariness. What they
won't recognize is that the whole
purpose of the death penalty is not to
mete out justice but to terrorize the
population by demonstrating the state's
monopoly of violence. The mushroom-
ing unemployment lines threaten mass
upheaval, fueling the racist fears of the
ruling class, who cry for a stronger state
apparatus. The 1976 Supreme Court
decision opened the legal gates for the
executions, but so far only white
prisoners have been sent to the chair.
The government wanted to get past
the hurdle of actually executing a black
man-and not during a "long hot
summer." The Brooks case gave them
their chance, and they grabbed it. In
quick succession, his appeal for a stay of
execution was turned down by the Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals, the State
Board of Pardons and Paroles, Texas
Governor Clements and finally the U.S.
Supreme Court. "What [Texas Attor-
ney General] Mark White has done
through this is manage to conduct a
judicial lynching," said Duncan.
"The situation is ripe for the nation to
witness executions at the rate approach-
ing the three a week that prevailed
during the 1930's," remarked one
federal official recently, pointing to the
real reason for the sudden escalation of
executions. When the capitalist econo-
my falls apart and people lose faith in
the ruling class and its government-as
happened in the 1930s and is happening
again today-then all the government
has left is naked force, applied with a
racist edge in the "American way."
Needless to say, the death penalty never
deterred crime-from the daily hang-
ings of 17th century England to the gas
chamber and electric chair of FOR's
America to the present-day "humane"
lethal injections. Its purpose is to
maintain the power of the criminal
ruling class.
Abolish the Death Penalty
Liberal papers like the New York
Times (8 December 1982) hypocritically
sermonize against "the thirst of a
frustrated public for vengeance against
criminals." But they of course staunchly
defend the system of unemployment,
poverty, racism which give rise to
lynching-both the KKK's and the legal
kind carried out by the state. In fact it
was the Democratic liberals like Jimmy
Carter who paved the way with attacks
on busing for integration and other
minimal gains of the civil rights move-
ment. Reagan merely carried the attack
forward into an all-sided assault on the
working class, blacks and poor. What
unites all the bourgeois politicians is the
desperate desire to save the faltering
capitalist system, primarily through a
new war drive aimed at counterrevolu-
tion in the Soviet Union.
We stand with the original Bolshevik
revolution of 1917, which banned both
torture and the death penalty in the
USSR. "No tortures and torments!"
insisted even the Cheka, who ran the
prison camps holding counterrevolu-
tionaries, in the time of Lenin and
Trotsky. The world socialist revolution
led by Trotskyist vanguard parties will
carry forward the Bolshevik banner. As
we wrote in our article, "State Butchers
Gilmore" (WV No. 141, 21 January
"The r.:institution of the death penalty
is not just another legal argument lost
before an increasingly reactionary
Supreme Court. It is one among many
proofs of the failure of capitalism in its
death agony to fulfill its promise of a
decent life. . . . Only the victorious
proletarian revolution that overthrows
the bourgeois state will abolish the
death penalty for good and smash the
prisons, in the course of rooting out the
whole vicious cycle of crime, punish-
ment and repression caused by
",:'":.::: ,::":-
that extent it will be able to be more
categorical in publicly dealing with the
vital issues of workers democracy
involved. The deliberate introduction of
the bourgeois state into the life of
private political organizations does
have a history; this has been used in
England by racist/fascist organizations
during their quarrels and splits. Is it now
to be imported into socialist organiza-
tions in the United States? This must be
I trust that an expeditious reply will
be given to this request (in writing).
Yours truly,
Rachel H. Wolkenstein
cc: Spartacist League/iSt
October 28, 1982
Spartacist League
c/o Rachel Wolkenstein
299 Broadway
New York, N.Y.
This is in response to your letter,
postmarked October 21, which has been
referred to me for reply.
The Socialist Workers Party will not
provide any assistance to the Spartacist
Craig Gannon
Socialist Workers Party
* * * * *
0$2/10 introductory issues of
Workers Vanguard (includes Spartacist)
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(includes Spartacist)
o New 0 Renewal
International Rates: 24 issues-$20 airmail/$5 seamail
____________Phone (
City State Zip _
Marxist Working-Class Biweekly of the Spartacist League
Make payableJmaillo: Sparlacisl Publishing Co.. Box 1377 GPO, New York. New York 10116
Name _
Address _
addition to the Healyite frame-up
campaign, this time invoking the gov-
ernment's courts against the Socialist
Workers Party.
While the Spartacist League/iSt takes
no position on the question of whether
Gelfand's rights as a member of the
SWP were violated in the expulsion
process, it is clear that asking the courts
to make that determination is a viola-
tion of workers democracy. This case
presents dangerous precedent for all
working class organizations.
The Spartacist League/iSt believes
that a vigorous, aggressive counter-
attack must be made against the
Gelfand lawsuit. However, to date, the
available information on this case has
been in the press of the Workers League.
There does not appear to have been any
information on or excerpts from this
lawsuit in the pages of the Militant or
Intercontinental Press.
The Spartacist League/ iSt is
necessarily interested in examining the
"evidence" submitted by Gelfand in
support of his allegations of government
dominion over the Socialist Workers
Party as well as examining the develop-
ment of the legal defense and counterof-
fensive taken by the SWP defendants.
To the extent the Spartacist League/iSt
has concrete information in hand,
particularly the court record, then to
(continued from page 7)
agent of the GPU/ FBI, implicated in the
assassination of Leon Trotsky. It has
been and continues to be the position of
the Spartacist League/iSt that those
charges are manifestly groundless. This
slander campaign against Joseph Han-
sen constitutes an attack on the entire
SWP leadership around Trotsky and
Cannon, posing directly the question of
Healyism versus Trotskyism.
The Spartacist League/iSt is publicly
on record in vehement opposition to
those slanders. James Robertson, Na-
tional Chairman of the Spartacist
League signed a statement circulated by
the SWP in 1976, entitled, "AShameless
Frame-Up." Since 1975 the Spartacist
League/iSt has held demonstrations
against the Workers League/RWP
asking, "Who Gave Healy His Security
Clearance?". Thus, it is with the utmost
concern and outrage that the Spartacist
League/iSt views this most recent
revolution. Still, Barnes' explicit disavo-
wal of Trotskyist pretensions signals
new heights of instability for Barnes'
party. For our part, we welcome Barnes'
speech as a step toward clarity on the
American left, tending to resolve the
competing claims to Trotskyist continu-
ity. And we hope that among the SWP
old-timers, degenerated long since into
practicing social-democrats, a few may
still be found who won't follow Barnes
as he spits on the revolutionary activism
of their younger days. We urge them to
instead make their experiences accessi-
ble to the Trotskyists of today (see
archival letter in this issue of WV).
The international Spartacist tendency
was born as the Revolutionary Tenden-
cy of the SWP, expelled in 1963 for
defending the authentic revolutionary
program of Trotskyism. This is our
label, and we wear it proudly, confident
of its future decisive victory through
international proletarian revolution.
& ,oc,"''''' " " o..
massive u.s. aid
to lIicaruagua
LaLreh 1980presidential
/k'''' , '.'iiIiIiIIi.;::.'.'
....,.,vtoT t. e-Kn .00. ....... u--. 1>
,... ,......."o,,,....,,..-. ..
Counterrevolutionary and illiterate:
SWP calls on U.S. Imperialismto bUy
off revolution In "Nlcargagua."
expect some erudite reams from Mandel
in defense of "Trotskyism" against the
Ofcourse the USec has already shown
itself equally willing to junk the "Trot-
skyist" label in pursuit of bigger-time
alliances. In 1976 Mandel, envisioning a
maneuver with the social-democratic
PSU group in France, declared:
"What difference do labels make? If in
the political arena we encountered
political forces which agreed with our
strategic and tactical orientation and
which were repulsed only by the
historical reference and the name we
would get rid of it in 24 hours."
What difference do labels make? Trot-
sky once replied simply to this question,
"In politics, the 'name' is the 'banner'"
(Writings, 1935-36).
To be sure, the SWP for 20 years has
had about as much use for Trotskyism
as a blind man for eyeglasses-that is, it
can serve some functions, but none
involving the purpose for which it was
intended: the making of proletarian

14 JANUARY 1983 11
JanuarY 22 EI Salvador Protests
Anti-Imperialism Abroad,
Class Struggle at Home
A joint EI Salvador solidarity
demonstration is scheduled to take
place along the Mexican-American
border at Tijuana on January 22,
anniversary of the 1932 massacre of
30,000 Salvadoran workers and peas-
ants known as La Matanza. The
protest, decided upon at the First
Mexico-U.S. Border Conference in
Solidarity with the Salvadoran People
last October, will also emphasize the
plight of Central American refugees.
According to the American Socialist
Workers Party (SWP), the orientation
is toward "a movement of workers in
solidarity with the totality of the
revolutionary anti-imperialist move-
ment taking place in the region"
(Perspectiva Mundial, 3 January).
Not so. In the first place, the
sponsoring organizations do not call
for solidarity with revolution in
Central America. Rather they seek to
pressure their "own" bourgeoisies into
adopting "peace-loving" foreign poli-
cies. The Mexican Committee in
Solidarity with the Salvadoran People
had previously held an international
solidarity forum in Mexico City last
March which supported the French-
Mexican communique calling for a
negotiated settlement to the Salvador-
an conflict. This attempt of two
capitalist governments to prevent the
revolutionary contagion from spread-
ing beyond El Salvador means calling
off the war and leaving the death
squads and generals free to kill again.
The pseudo-Trotskyist Partido Revo-
lucionario de los Trabajadores (PRT),
another of the participants, explicitly
hailed the "progressive role" of the
plan of Mexican president Lopez
In the U.S., the Committee in
Solidarity with the People of El
Salvador (CISPES) not only hailed
the French-Mexican communique, it
has consistently supported proposals
by liberal Democratic Congressmen to
cut military (but not economic) aid to
El Salvador. Yet U.S. economic aid
has been crucial in keeping the
Salvadoran junta in power. The SWP
(continued from page 1)
along the northern border, a Nicara-
guan air force helicopter crashed on
December 9 in a zone of counterrevolu-
tionary activity, resulting in the tragic
deaths of 75 children passengers. The
victims were from the Miskito Indian
tribe, several thousand of whom were
being evacuated from the border area
where they had been subjected to
attacks and a blockade by the contras.
Whether the crash was an accident or
the helicopter transporting the children
was shot down, in either case responsi-
bility for the slaughter falls on the
Somozaists and their paymasters in
Washington who have unleashed the
very overt "covert" war against Sandi-
nista Nicaragua. In a country where tens
of thousands of youths, "los mucha-
chos" (the kids), were murdered fighting
Somoza, the deaths caused angry
mourning. Twenty-five thousand peo-
ple marched in Managua chanting,
"We're going to the battlefields for the
went even further in expressing confi-
dence in the imperialist government,
calling in 1979 for "Massive U.S. Aid
to Nicargagua" (sic). In contrast, the
revolutionary Trotskyists of the Spar-
tacist League (SLjU.S.) call for "Mili-
tary Victory to Leftist Insurgents in EI
Salvador!" The SL-organized Anti-
Imperialist Contingent brought out
500 militants supporting this program
in Washington, D.C. on 3 May 1981
(see photo below). But the reformists
were so frenzied about "reds" scaring
3 May 1981:
SL-organized .,
called for
military victory
to Salvadoran
leftists while
liberals called
for negotiated
_.' , F";':'"
off their liberal Democrat patrons that
they organized a goon squad to keep
people from attending the SL rally.
Nor do the reformists seek to build a
"movement of workers." To the extent
they talk at all about labor, which is
only recently, they mean forming
political blocs with the pro-capitalist
union bureaucrats. In Mexico this
means appealing to the corrupt "char-
ro" labor fakers headed by Fidel
children!" In contrast, the imperialist
press barely mentioned the tragedy.
They have to keep up their worldwide
slander campaign attempting to pin
senseless atrocities against the Miskitos
on the FSLN.
The most dangerous front in the war
against Somozaist subversion is the
internal political front. For the coun-
terrevolutionaries have a powerful pro-
capitalist "fifth column" inside Nicara-
gua. There are the private businessmen,
who still control 60 percent of the
economy and are opposed to any steps
toward socialist revolution. Even within
the Sandinista regime there -are
disguised counterrevolutionaries, as
revealed by the defection to the imperi-
alists last year of former "Coman-
dante Zero," Eden Pastora. He was
followed by the resignation of the head
of the National Bank, and of Nicara-
guan ambassador to Washington Artu-
ro Cruz (one of the original members of
the Sandinista governing junta). Now
Cruz' replacement as ambassador,
Francisco Fiallos, has also gone over to
Pastora's camp, taking with him almost
$700,000 of Nicaraguan government
Meanwhile, the imperialists are using
Vazquez, who acts as a watchdog over
the workers movement for the ruling
PRI. Vazquez & Co. have been
instrumental in preventing a general
strike against the Mexican govern-
ment's draconian austerity measures.
In the U.S. the SWP et al. look to the
reactionary Meanyite AFL-CIO bu-
reaucracy which stands politically to
the right of the mainstream Democrat-
ic Party. In particular, the AFL-CIO
is a principal advocate of the racist
anti-immigrant Simpson-Mazzoli bill
aimed at victimizing Mexican and
Central American workers in the U.S.
Real anti-imperialist solidarity with
Central American workers and peas-
ants means militant revolutionary
struggle at home, mobilizing the
powerful Mexican proletariat against
its rulers and above all in the belly of
the Yankee imperialist beast. And this
enrages the reformists, who even call
on the capitalist cops to exclude the
the Catholic church hierarchy as a
potent force for reaction, as they are
doing also in Poland. A billboard
campaign announcing "Christ is com-
ing," the apparition of a counterrevolu-
tionary virgin in Cuapa (recalling the
1917 anti-Bolshevik "Lady of Fatima"
in Portugal), provoking incidents be-
tween church and state such as the arrest
last summer of an aide to Archbishop
Ovando y Bravo (and the publication of
a nude photograph of the cleric). The
conflict is aggravated by a split between
a grassroots "people's church" favor-
able to the FSLN and the anti-
Sandinista Catholic hierarchy. The
impetus for mobilizing the church
against the regime has come straight
from the Vatican, as the counterrevolu-
tionary Polish pope John Paul Wojtyla
ordered all Catholic priests in Nicara-
gua to leave high government jobs. The
several clerical cabinet ministers re-
fused, and now the pope is threatening
to boycott Nicaragua on his upcoming
Central American tour.
The political strength of the church
and Pastora supporters would not be so
great but for the fact that the FSLN
made a political alliance with the so-
called "anti-Somoza bourgeoisie" and
Trotskyists (as occurred last March 27
in the U.S. capital). The SL and our
trade-union supporters have been the
only ones in the United States to fight
for a labor boycott of arms to El
Salvador. We have also taken the lead
in protesting against the deportation
of Salvadoran refugees from the U.S.
And when the Reagan administration
launched raids against immigrant
workers last May, the SL mounted
well-publicized emergency protest
demonstrations from coast to coast.
Above all the reformists try to duck
the Russian question. Reagan declares
that Central America is the front line
of his war against Communism, and
the El Salvador popular frontists go to
incredible lengths to eliminate any
mention of the Soviet Union from
their demonstrations. Pseudo-
Trotskyist charlatan Nahuel Moreno
goes even further in his Stalinophobia,
claiming that the Stalinists are ... more
counterrevolutionary than the bour-
geois nationalists! While denouncing
the Stalinists from Havana to Moscow
for their policy of "peaceful coexis-
tence" with imperialism, and demand-
ing "Leftist rebels need Russian guns!"
the Spartacist tendency forthrightly
proclaims, "Defense of Cuba, USSR
Begins in EI Salvador!" The only
genuine solidarity with revolution in
Central America is militant anti-
imperialism abroad and class struggle
at home.
the church the basis of the political
revolution that overthrew the "jackal of
Managua." The price exacted by the
bourgeois forces for this "popular front"
was a government program pledged to
maintaining the foundations of capital-
ist rule. However, the main guarantor of
that rule, the National Guard, disinte-
grated even before the Sandinistas
entered Managua. Now, under pressure
from the Reagan administration which
(wrongly) accuses Nicaragua of follow-
ing the "Cuban path," the class-
collaborationist coalition is on the
rocks. The result could be to force the
Sandinistas to go much further than
they planned along the road of social
revolution, at most creating a bureau-
cratically deformed workers state a la
Castro's Cuba. But FSLN leaders are
certainly right in saying that this has not
been their intention or program. Sandi-
nista interior minister Tomas Borge
responded to a question from a corre-
spondent of the Paris newspaper Le
Monde ("Is Reagan perhaps trying to
radicalize you?"):
"If so. he has understood nothing about
our Revolution. Whatever he does. we
will be neither more nor less radical. We
don't speak of political pluralism and a
EI Salvador: A New Vietnam?
The FMLN offensive "Heroes and
Martyrs of October 1979-80" sent
government troops fleeing from a string
of garrison towns and villages across the
northern tier of EI Salvador, establish-
ing for the first time an open liberated
zone. The Washington Post (28 Decem-
ber 1982) quoted a U.S. official who
admitted: "The guerrillas have made
real territorial gains .... You have to say
their offensive has been .a success."
Beginning on October 10 the leftist
insurgents quickly occupied 20 munici-
palities in the provinces of Chalatenan-
go, MoraZ<ln, Usulatan and La Union.
Except for a brief, ten-day counterof-
fensive by the Salvadoran and Hondur-
an armies in late November, the FMLN
has remained in control of the hill
regions. General Garcia, following U.S.
advice, kept his forces on the plains and
in the cities, both to prevent disruption
of the economy and to head off a
possible coup by ultra-rightists in the
military. But this has not stopped the
army from taking a beating: more than
1,000 soldiers killed, wounded or
captured since the beginning of the rebel
The pronunciamiento by Colonel
Sigifredo Ochoa is a reflection of
divisions within the Salvadoran ruling
mixed economy to please the Ameri-
cans. It is our program and we will
uphold it whatever Reagan's policies."
-Barricada. 19 December 1982
Today, as the counterrevolutionary
threat against Sandinista Nicaragua
mounts, what is needed is not concilia-
tion of the capitalists/ imperialists but a
revolutionary upheaval. The FSLN's
main slogan, "No pasarim" (They shall
not pass), is borrowed from the Spanish
Civil War where the People's Front
alliance with the shadow of the bour-
geoisie was a barrier to proletarian
revolution, and thus allowed the coun-
terrevolutionaries to pass. Mass organi-
zations such as the Sandinista Defense
Committees, the unions and the Peo-
ple's Militia must throw off bureaucrat-
ic control to become the basis for organs
of soviet democracy. Pro-bourgeois
traitors must be ruthlessly purged from
the Sandinista regime. Rather than
reliance on the petty-bourgeois nation-
alists who conciliate the bourgeois
liberals. the future of the revolution
depends on the forging of a communist
(Trotskyist) workers party. Instead of a
narrow nationalist perspective, even
offering to help the Yankee imperialists
dismantle Salvadoran leftist bases in
Nicaragua, such a leadership must
become the vanguard of the Central
American revolution, fighting for work-
ers and peasants governments through-
out the isthmus. Without such a
proletarian internationalist program, an
isolated Nicaragua will be mortally
threatened by U.S.-sponsored counter-
revolution, and far more vulnerable
than Cuba which at least had 90 miles of
ocean between it and the gusanos
headquartered in Miami.
order to save lives-tens of thousands
have died, and many more will do so if
the capitalist butchers are not crushed-
but because it leads to class war and an
end to their attempts to strike deals with
the "patriotic bourgeoisie" and other
figments of the reformist imagination.
The imperialists and their puppet
dictators cooperate militarily through
their alliances (CONDECA, Rio Trea-
ty) while the leftist misleaders assidu-
ously "respect" national boundaries.
Trotskyists, like Salvadoran Commu-
nist leader Farabundo Marti 50 years
ago, have no allegiance to the artificial
statelets carved out of the isthmus. We
fight for a soviet federation of Central
America in a Socialist United States of
Latin America.
The petty-bourgeois nationalism of
the Central American left also leads it to
abandon the working class in favor of
peasant guerrilla struggle, reflecting
different class interests. Ever since the
failed general strike of August 1980, all
sections of the FMLN have basically
turned their backs on the Salvadoran
workers. The half-hearted call for
insurrection in conjunction with the
January 1981 "final" guerrilla offensive
was nothing more than an auxiliary
action. Even under conditions of ex-
treme repression, a Leninist communist
party must necessarily base itself on the
urban proletariat. We seek to mobilize
the workers not only of San Salvador
but of Managua as well, linking up with
militant banana and sugar mill workers
from Costa Rica to Guatemala and
above all with the powerful Mexican
working class, key to socialist revolu-
tion in the region and the link to the
North American proletariat..
placards demanded "Immediate Re-
lease of Kuttimani, Jeganathan
and Other Victims of Anti-Tamil
Terror!" "For the Right of Tamil
Self-Determination!" and "For a
Sinhala/Tamil Workers and Peas-
ants Government!" The Spartacist
sign in Tamil (above) reads: "Tamil
Workers Key to Indian/Lankan
Revolution!" Other TLD slogans
included "Political Asylum for Ta-
mils! Stop the Deportations!" "U.S.
Imperialism: Hands Off Trincoma-
lee, Diego Garcia! Defend USSR/
Vietnam!" and "Workers-Sinhala/
Tamil, Men/Women: Build the
Bolshevik Party!"
Literature sales were brisk,
especially of the first issue of
publication of the Spartacist
League/ Lanka, and Spartacist No.
31-32 with the statement of fusion
between the Lankan comrades and
the iSt.
Smash Anti-Tamil
Terror in Sri Lanka!
FRANKFURT, West Germany-
"Smash Anti-Tamil Terror! Free
Kuttimani and Jeganathan Now!"
chanted a hundred demonstrators
here last month. They were protest-
ing the latest wave of repression
against the Tamil minority in Sri
Lanka and demanding freedom for
two young Tamil activists framed up
as "terrorists," forced to sign confes-
sions under police torture and sen-
tenced to death. Scores of Tamil
militants have been arrested and
"disappeared" at the hands of the
bloody Sinhala-chauvinist regime of _
Reagan-backed rightist J.R. Jaye-
wardene under the draconian Pre-
vention of Terrorism Act and a
permanent state of emergency.
organized by Tamil exile groups, was
joined by a contingent of the Trotz-
kistische Liga Deutschlands (TLD),
German section of the internation-
al Spartacist tendency (iSt). TLD
endorsed all the offers to date, and
Cayetano went out of his way to stress
that their goal was "not for a Socialist
government" but rather a "democratic
revolutionary government" including
everyone from "large businessmen to
small farmers and merchants" (New
York Times, 9 February 1982). The FPL
only objects that the deal isn't "sweet"
The revolutionary Trotskyists of the
iSt fight for military victory to leftist
insurgents in EI Salvador for the same
reason that all the Christian Democrats,
social democrats, Stalinists, nationalists
and liberals oppose it: smashing the
armed forces of the capitalist state opens
the door to socialist revolution. What
would Nicaragua look like today if
Somoza's National Guard had re-
mained in power? The "maximum
program" of the reformists is for a
"democratic" government, agrarian
reform and cleaning out fascists from
the army-all changes that can be easily
wiped out, as the example of Chile
tragically shows. The Trotskyists fight
for a workers and peasants government
to expropriate the capitalists, for agrari-
an revolution, for destruction of the
bourgeois officer caste and its replace-
ment by a proletarian-led red army.
Because of their fundamental com-
mitment to defending capitalism, Ungo
& Co. also do everything possible to
keep the Salvadoran civil war within
national limits. Reformism is inherently
national, socialist revolution interna-
tional in scope. The FSLN and FDR/
FMLN leaders, not to mention Castro's
Cuba, oppose "Vietnamization" (re-
gionalization) of the fighting not in



class. His nemesis, General Garcia, has
for the last several years been Washing-
ton's man in the army, also linked to the
middle-class professionals of the Chris-
tian Democrats. Ochoa is associated
with 0' Aubuisson's "tropical fascist"
ARENA party and the professional
killers of the jackbooted Treasury
Police and National Guard. While
ARENA and its allies won a "majority"
in the March 1982 sham elections, the
American proconsul last fall engineered
a split in one of the rightist coalition
parties, laying the basis for ousting
D'Aubuisson as assembly president.
Garcia then began removing ultras from
key military commands. But U.S.
military intervention and the landed
oligarchy in EI Salvador naturally tend
toward the domination of mass
murderers-e.g., General Maximiliano
Hernandez, who introduced half a
century of military rule by massacring
the communist-led uprising in 1932.
And whoever wins this test of strength,
the outcome will make liberal/reformist
talk of a "negotiated settlement" to the
civil war more of a pipedream than ever.
Yet this dangerous notion of a
compromise with the death squads, the
generals, the latifundists and the imperi-
alists is the declared aim of the Salva-
doran opposition leaders! A statement
by the FDR-FMLN mission in Mexico
put it succinctly:
"Briefly, the insurgent military offen-
sive, considered the most important
since 1981, gives solid backing to the
offers of dialogue and peace recently
put forward by the top leadership of the
-"Comentario Informativo
Semanal," 10 October-
9 November 1982
Likewise, FOR leader Guillermo Ungo
recently "dismissed the possibility of an
outright military victory for the opposi-
tion FMLN guerrilla forces as 'wishful
thinking'" (Latin American Weekly
Report, 8 October 1982). In other
words,tBe.Hghtin8 is a pressure tactic tQ
force negotiations, so that an Ungo or
Zamora can sit down and bargain with
General Garcia, their old friend from
the October 1979 "reform" junta-
exchanging hard-won battlefield victo-
ries for empty ministerial portfolios.
Many of the Salvadoran insurgents
fighting in the field are certainly not in
favor of this treacherous policy.
And what do the FDR/FMLN
proposals call for? The latest (October
5) offer looks to the Catholic church to
mediate-in which case it would play no
less a counterrevolutionary role than in
Nicaragua-and no longer calls even for
a purge of genocidal elements of the
armed forces or a "democratic" govern-
ment. No wonder some rebels reported-
ly criticize this as complete surrender.
There are reports that sectors of the
guerrilla coalition, specifically Cayeta-
no Carpio's Fuerzas Populares de
Liberacion Farabundo Marti (FPL),
signed the proposals only under duress.
But they have no principled objection to
a negotiated sellout-the FPL has
p ,,:
t', _ ::-iJ>, ..
.... Anti-
It. Mlsklto
L1 camps
... Contra
... camps
.. US
J\. adVIsers
100 \50
I !, ,
Battle for
Nicaragua Is on as
attack across
Honduran border.
14 JANUARY 1983 13
(continued from page 6)
New York, NAMBLA spokesmen
exposed the phony Etan Patz "look-
alike" photograph which they showed
was taken from a 1968 calendar. "The
model would now be at least in his late
twenties," explained NAMBLA spokes-
man and founding member David
Thorstad. "The police knew that there is
no connection between Etan Patz's
disappearance and NAMBLA. NAMB-
LA has never been involved in the
abduction of anyone," Thorstad said,
accusing the cops of "deliberately and
cynically covering up this information."
Many in NAMBLA's leadership are
well-known in the gay activist milieu
and on the left. David Thorstad, for in-
stance, is a former Political Committee
member of the Socialist Workers Party
(SWP) and founding member of the
Gay Activist Alliance. But faced with
the wild and grotesque charges, NAMB-
LA felt obliged to deny everything from
being a prostitution and porno ring to
kidnapping. Spokesman David Ingalls
explained simply, "We support only
consensual relationships, and condemn
any involving coercion or in which
consent is lacking."
After a few days, the cops admitted
that the photo was not Etan Patz. But
practically speaking, the truth may not
help much. Most of the damage has
been done as NAMBLA members are
set up falsely as a bunch of dirty old men
who hide in the shadows of schoolyards
waiting to grab little boys in order to
abuse them or worse. The witchhunters
try to wilfully identify these men, who
advocate an unusual mode of consensu-
al sexual expression, with every crazed
(continued from page 2)
too far in the other direction, seeing an
International Red Army as the instru-
ment of world revolution.
To leave unchallenged the charge of
anti-Semitism would be to suggest that
Stalin shot Tukhachevsky legitimately
as a secret anti-Semite and Nazi sympa-
thizer. Professor Furr cites the testi-
mony of a French officer interned with
Tukhachevsky in a German prison of
war camp at Ingolstadt during WWI. At
that time a pan-Slavist nationalist and
bonapartist, Tukhachevsky may well
have said, as Roure asserts, "I detest
socialists, Jews and Christians." But like
many other young Tsarist officers,
under the impact of war and revolution
he was won to the Bolshevik cause.
After the 1928 publication of Roure's
book, Tukhachevsky himself repudiat-
ed his earlier views when a group of
French officers offered a toast in
memory of their common imprison-
ment: "I became a Marxist. I never think
of my views at Ingolstadt without
regretting them, since they could cause
doubts about my devotion to the Soviet
motherland" (Alexandrov, The Tukha-
chevsky Affair). Among the officers in
attendance was Remy Roure himself.
A most persuasive argument against
the imputation of anti-Semitism to
Tukhachevsky was his longstanding
friendship with the Soviet composer
Dmitri Shostakovich, who drew heavily
on Jewish musical traditions in his work
and sought to make his music a
statement against the persecution of the
Jews in Europe. According to Solomon
Volkov's Testimony (1979), an account
of Shostakovich's life based on conver-
sations with him, the composer said, "I
broke with even good friends if I saw
they had any anti-Semitic tendencies."
Yet Shostakovich reportedly described
his symphonies as tombstones for his
murdered friends, among them Mikhail
No, anti-Semitism was Stalin's weap-
on, used against Trotsky and the
communists of the Left Opposition, the
Old Bolsheviks, anyone who stood in his
way as he consolidated his bureaucratic
cult and sex criminal from Charles
Manson to the guy who strewed the cut
up bodies of young men along the L.A.
freeways. They want to raise the fear of
sexual maniacs like John Gacy, who was
convicted of 33 murders in Illinois,
many of them involving sexual assaults
on young men, whom he then buried
under his house.
The casualty figures for this
witchhunt are already coming in. Not
only is the existence of NAMBLA, the
livelihoods and perhaps the lives of its
members threatened, but democratic
rights for all the oppressed, particularly
homosexuals, must be an early casualty
in the crusade. The defense of embattled
NAMBLA is an urgent duty for all those
who defend democratic rights. Drop the
charges against NAMBLA members!
Free Groat and Baker! Stop the
Cops Out of the Bedroom!
Perversion, it has been noted, seems
to be not what you like, but what other
people do. As we wrote five years ago
during the persecution of Polish film
director Roman Polanski, who was
witchhunted for having an affair with a
13-year-old girl: "As communists we
oppose attempts to fit human sexuality
into legislated or decreed 'norms.' The
guiding principle for sexual relations
should be that of effective consent-that
is, nothing more than mutual agreement
and understanding as opposed to
coercion ... the state has no business
interfering" ("Stop the Witchhunt
Against Roman Polanski!" WV No.
192,10 February 1978). This ought to be
the guiding principle not just for
Marxists but for any democrat on such
social questions. Determining what is
stranglehold over the first proletarian
state. While never a Trotskyist, Tukha-
chevsky resisted enormous pressure and
refused to publish a single condemna-
tion, or even criticism, of his former
commander. As late as 1928 he was still
quoting Trotsky as a military authority
in his contribution to Armed Insurrec-
tion, the classic "Third Period" text-
book on military tactics by A.
Neuberg-actually a pseudonym for a
group of Comintern military experts
which included Tukhachevsky, Ho Chi
Minh, the German Communist (and
later Trotskyist) Erich Wollenberg, CI
org sec Piatnitsky and Unschlicht (the
latter two both Old Bolsheviks executed
by Stalin). In his 1970 introduction to
the book, Wollenberg points to the
origin of. the "anti-Semite" slanders:
"The most absurd legends were put
about to explain the background to
Tukhachevsky's liquidation, and indeed
are still believed to this day. 'Diabolical
intrigue by SS General Heidrich who
smuggled forged documents into the
hands of Benes in order to weaken the
Soviet army by having it decapitated of
its commanders'; 'Conspiracy between
General Fritsch and Tukhachevsky to
overthrow Hitler and Stalin'; 'The
"anti-semite" from the Russian elite
sympathized with Hitler'; etc., etc.
Marshal of the Soviet Union 'Tukha'
was liquidated by Stalin as a member of
an oppositional group whose best-
known members included the Old
Bolsheviks Bukharin and Rykov, and in
the army the 'Jew' Gamarnik, political
commissar, and the 'Jew' and army
general Yakir! 'Tukha' was denounced
by Radek, who in his own trial hoped to
save his skin by mentioning the name of
the Marshal of the Soviet Union in
connection with the soviet democratic
opposition. "
In fact, there was a Gestapo plot to
frame Tukha by providing falsified
documents naming him as a German
spy-the convenient pretext Stalin
needed to eliminate a potentially dan-
gerous adversary. In his 1939 work In
Stalin's Secret Service, W.G. Krivitsky,
chief of Soviet Military Intelligence in
Western Europe at the time of Tukha-
chevsky's murder, described the GPU/
Gestapo frameup. After piecing togeth-
er the plot Krivitsky wrote bitterly,
" ... from my vantage point in the
Intelligence Service, I saw Stalin extend
the hand of secret friendship to Hitler. I
effective consent is always tricky, and
particularly with youth there is a grey
area. But such a judgment must be case
by case, not categorical as it is with the
reactionary age-of-eonsent laws. The
act of sex in itself is not prima facie
evidence of abuse or coercion. And the
NAMBLA activists are being witch-
hunted for things nowhere close to
where their real interests and activities
The reformist left including many in
the gay milieu have washed their hands
of the "taint" of this unpopular group
under attack. The dividing line on this
issue is the age-of-consent laws. The
SWP and the Workers World Party
(WWP), for instance, hail the age-of-
consent laws as "historic acquisitions"
for the working class, comparing these
laws to child-labor legislation. Al-
though it may come as a big surprise to
members of these tendencies, consensu-
al sex is not labor. Some might even
consider it pleasure, and in any case they
should not be per se thrown in jail for it.
The fact is thatage-of-consent laws
(which have their roots in the "bride-
price" guarantee of virginity of women
in arranged marriages) do not protect
children. They are designed to repress
the sexuality of youth with the power of
the state. They enforce the reactionary
morality of the bourgeois nuclear
family, an institution at the core of the
oppression of women, homosexuals and
children. It is within the family that
most brutality and rape against children
The SWP isn't the only group hoping
to buy bourgeois respectability by
supporting age-of-consent laws and
avoiding "the taint" of NAMBLA.
From gay ghettos like the Castro in San
saw him, while thus paying court to the
Nazi leader, execute the great generals
of the Red Army, Tukhachevsky, and
the other chiefs with whom and under
whom I had worked for years in the
defense of the Soviet Unian and of
socialism." In The Great Game Soviet
master spy Leopold Trepper, a Polish
Jew and Communist, wrote:
"The Red Army was the last bastion to
be removed; it alone still eluded his
control. For the Stalin regime, liquidat-
ing the leaders of the army became an
urgent objective. Since the leaders in
question were old Bolsheviks who had
distinguished themselves during the
October Revolution, and since an
accusation like 'Trotskyite' or 'Zino-
vievist' against a Tukhachevski would
not stick, it was necessary to strike hard
and with great strength. Stalin used the
complicity of Hitler to murder the army
of the Russian people."
Trepper goes on to tell the account,
related to him in 1943 by Giering of the
Gestapo, of how at Stalin's initiative
Nazi Intelligence provided faked docu-
ments to prove Tukhachevsky was
conspiring with the Wehrmacht. How-
ever, these documents were never
introduced until after Tukhachevsky
had already been shot. His 'summary
execution was ordered on the basis of
his activities collaborating with the
German military, carrying out what was
from 1922 until 1935 official Soviet
In fact Tukha and his fellow "co-
conspirator," the Jewish Red Army
commissar Yan B. Gamarnik, were
among the hardest opponents of Ger-
man Nazism. When Hitler came to
power, they had demanded immediate
suspension of military relations with the
Reichswehr, in opposition to Stalin.
Isaac Deutscher, in Stalin (1949),
describes Tukhachevsky's report to the
Central Executive Committee in Janu-
ary 1936: "His speech was remarkable
for its shrewd anticipation of Hitler's
methods of warfare and for its extraor-
dinary emphasis on the danger from the
Third Reich. Tukhachevsky's emphatic
warning sharply contrasted with Stalin's
ambiguity." Liquidation of the anti-
Nazi generals became essential for the
consummation of Stalin's policy, the
1939 Hitler-Stalin pact. Trepper de-
scribes the purge that followed Tukha-
Francisco and Greenwich Village, many
homosexuals have come to believe that
votes in the Democratic Clubs make
respectability. They fail to see just how
vulnerable they are as they busily
distinguish themselves from the "child
molesters." And Women Against Por-
nography feminists, who are in the
forefront of calling on the state to censor
pornography, can have no trouble at all
in joining the witchhunt.
NAMBLA is probably the weakest of
a weak oppressed group. That is why the
left fakers want to abandon it or join the
witchhunt against it. It is because of the
vulnerability of homosexuals that the
Nazis targeted Gay Pride Day in
Chicago on June 27, hoping to find the
weak link in their chain of terror. It was
the Spartacist League which initiated
the labor/black mobilization of 3,000
blacks, unionists, Jews, homosexuals,
socialists which prevented the Nazis
from carrying out their hideous provo-
cation. That action demanded a party
with a program to really be a tribune of
the people-which can defend the rights
of all the oppressed by mobilizing
working-class power. It is precisely
because the gays have so little clout, and
NAMBLA least of all, that defense of
them against this witchhunt is the test of
political decency.
The Partisan Defense Committee
has sent a contribution to the
defense ofNAMBLA. WVurges its
readers to do the same. Make
checks payable to: NAMBLA
Emergency Defense Fund, Box 174
Midtown Station, New York, New
York 10018.
chevsky's execution:
"The blood of Red Armv soldiers
flowed: 13 out of 19 commanders of
army troops, liD out of 135 command-
ers of divisions and brigades, half the
commanders of regiments and most of
the political commissars were executed.
The Red Army, bled white, was hardly
an army at all now, and it would not be
again for years.
"The Germans exploited this situation
to the full. ..."
In 1941 Hitler's troops invaded the
Soviet Union; to defeat them cost the
lives of 20 million Russians.
Trepper captured the bitterness and
bewilderment of those who watched
Stalin's terror against the heroes of the
Revolution and the Civil War. But he
also recognized who did not capitulate:
"All those who did not rise up against
the Stalinist machine are responsible,
collectively responsible. I am no excep-
tion to this verdict.
"But who did protest at the time? Who
rose up to voice his outrage?
"The Trotskyites can lay claim to this
honor. Following the example of their
leader, who was rewarded for his
obstinacy with the end of an ice-axe,
they fought Stalinism to the death, and
they were the only ones who did. By the
time of the great purges, they could only
shout their rebellion in the freezing
wastelands where they had been
dragged in order to be exterminated. In
the camps, their conduct was admir-
able. But their voices were lost in the
"Today, the Trotskyites have a right to
accuse those who once howled along
with the wolves. Let them not forget,
however, that they had the enormous
advantage over us of having a coherent
political system capable of replacing
Stalinism. They had something to cling
to in the midst of their profound distress
at seeing the revolution betrayed. They
did not 'confess,' for they knew that
their confession would serve neither the
party nor socialism."
We trust that we have adequately
demonstrated that Professor Furr has
been misled by his "authorities." If there
are those in the Soviet Union today who
would honor Marshal Tukhachevsky,
and seek to clear away the filthy
Stalinist slanders against his memory,
this is to be welcomed. We look forward
to the day when the Russian working
class recovers the banner of the Red
Army's founder, Leon Trotsky, and
returns it to its rightful place, waving
high over Red Square.
How We
Stopped KKK...
(continued from page 5)
of the unemployed, right?
Kartsen: The question of war, that's
very important. Because not only is
Ronald Reagan trying to buy MX
missiles with food stamps, he's right
now in a campaign to go to war with the
USSR, to take over the USSR, and
make it a bastion for American banks to
exploit the hell out of Russian workers.
Caller: Incidentally, it's a terrible slap in
the face to the black man in this country,
with the situation in Poland, they're
willing to speak out against the Rus-
sians. But it shocks me they don't do this
about southern Africa.
Kartsen: You see, a desperate capitalist
system, like you saw in the conditions of
Nazi Germany, has world politics that
are in correspondence to its own
corruption and decline. So the Ameri-
can government has lined up solidly
with South Africa and the apartheid
system which is notorious for its brutal,
savage. racist oppression in that coun-
try. At the same time, they flaunt
Poland Solidarity for a reason. They
flaunt this so-called union, this associa-
tion of people who are for the West
German banks taking over Poland,
which is what it really comes down to.
It's a question of the capitalist classes in
the West using political movements like
Solidarity. And what they would like to
do also inside Russia, step in with direct
imperialist exploitation.
I wanted to say one other thing,
having to do with one of the previous
callers. And that is that you cannot
conceive of the struggle against the Klan
without seeing the Klan's role in society
in a broader context. Because there's
going to be the need for a revolution.
People marched by the White House in
many thousands, saying "Down with
Reagan, Build a Workers Party." That
was the first time I've seen that, such a
number of people awakening to the need
for a political fight for power in this
And it has to be understood that
Ronald Reagan, the reason he was so
vehement behind the destruction of the
USSR, was because they had a revolu-
tion where they overthrew capitalism.
And they annihilated their version of the
Ku Klux Klan, people called the Black
Hundreds, who used to carry out mass
terror against the Jews. So the same
kind of revolution is needed here in this
country; completion of the Civil War,
complete freedom of black people,
complete freedom of workers from
exploitation. We've got to create a
system based on human needs, produc-
tion for human needs, not profits,
opposed to profits.
(continued from page 16)
infuriated one section of the city after
another. Now influential sections of the
city's bourgeoisie want to get rid of
"Crazy Jane" and her wacky stunts.
Labor remembers her vicious strike-
breaking tactics as she knocked off
teachers, firemen and the majority-
black transit workers one after another
in early 1979. The black pols who
delivered the "snow vote" to her, taking
14 of the 16 predominantly black wards
in '78, were cut out of the patronage they
expected by tradition.
For the black masses of Chicago,
Mayor Byrne has added racist insult to
the deep injuries of economic depression
and social decay. Her answer to the
horrible conditions of ghetto housing
was to move in temporarily at the
Cabrini Green housing project. She
14 JANUARY 1983
came of course with an army of Chicago
cops. When she moved out after
spending a few nights and making a few
token changes in the deterioration, she
left the memory of racist cop assaults
kicking in the doors of residents. To
court white racists when challenged by
Daley's kid, Byrne started removing
blacks from various housing and educa-
tion boards.
Since the death of "King" Daley every
candidate here has been running as an
"independent." This is particularly true
of black candidates. But Chicago is one
of the few cities in the U.S. which had a
well-oiled black machine. South Side
alderman William Dawson brought in
the black vote for Daley for a quarter of
a century. Ralph Metcalfe was Daley/
Dawson's kept Congressman, and he
groomed Washington-for 15 years a
nonentity in the Illinois legislature-as
a cog in that machine. When America's
ghettos exploded in 1968 following the
assassination of Martin Luther King,
Boss Daley told his cops to "shoot to
kill"; a few months later, state represen-
tative Washington voted for Bill 2571,
"In Relation to Certain Public Crises," a
piece of police-state legislation so
draconian that Governor Ogilvie vetoed
it. In 1980, Washington inherited
Metcalfe's Congressional seat.
Now with Chicago blacks up in arms
over Byrne, the black machine politi-
cians saw an opportunity to increase
their own influence. They reasoned that
if Byrne and Daley Jr. split the "white
vote," the 40 percent of Chicago which is
black could elect the mayor. This
strategy was clear when Jesse Jackson
and journalist/flack Lu Palmer pushed
last summer's fizzled black boycott of
. Byrne's "ChicagoFest." Feeding a dan-
gerous racial polarization in the city to
gain electoral advantage, the boycott
kicked off the Washington campaign.
As we wrote in Workers Vanguard No.
313, (17 September 1982):
"Jackson and the black pols saw the
boycott as an opening shot in a power
play, a chal}ce to direct the pent.::up
anger of Chicago's black people into an
intra-Democratic Party squabble with
Byrne. But for blacks, this stunt to test
the waters for a black mayoral cam-
paign was a cynical diversion and a
potentially dangerous one at that."
After the ChicagoFest boycott, the
Washington camp ran a voter registra-
tion drive under the slogan, "Come
Alive October Five" in which 200,000
more black names were added to the
registration lists for the Democrats. The
cand idate said it should become "un-
fashionable and uncomfortable for any
black person" not to register and vote-
for him (Chicago Sun-Times, 15 No-
vember 1982); Palmer added coyly,
"unhealthy." Under Daley and Dawson
it was said that white voters got a
chicken on election day while blacks got
a threat. Things haven't changed that
much, it seems.
Reformist Left Tails
Black Democrat
It isn't surprising that the reformist
left has found another "progressive"
Democrat to support. Their problem is
to paint up Washington as an anti-
machine candidate. The rad-lib Guard-
ian (I December 1982) headlines, "Black
Takes on Chicago Machine." Workers
World (26 November 1982) goes the
Guardian one better in its headline:
"Black Candidate Challenges Racist
Power Structure in Chicago." And the
Communist Party's Daily World (16
December 1982) banner headline hails:
"Chi Candidate Builds Racial Unity."
Sam Marcy's Workers World and its
front group the All-Peoples Congress
(APC) get mightily upset when we
Trotskyists point out that they chase the
liberal Democrats. Stung by the mass
labor/ black mobilization, initiated by
the Spartacist League (SL), which
stopped the Klan in Washington, D.C.
on November 27, Workers World (3
December 1982) squealed that the SL
"absurdly slanders" the APC as "being
secretly a tool of'Kennedy Democrats'."
What's the secret? The Workers World
article the week before proclaimed,
"Clearly Washington's campaign is part
of the nationwide struggle by black
people for representation and demo-
cratic rights." The Marcyites simply
neglected to mention that their candi-
date is a Democrat. For the CP, support
for "progressive" Democrats is nothing
new-they've been doing it for half a
century. They supported Jane
Byrne in 1979! The Daily World (16
December 1982) in an article plugging
the Washington campaign asked: "What
Can a Mayor Really Accomplish?" Their
answer: "reduce abuses such as police
brutality and filthy housing." A little less
abuse and a little less filth, but still plenty
to go around-a communist program for
Chicago it ain't.
The Washington campaign has also
exposed Progressive Labor's crazy-quilt
pattern of opportunism and cover-up.
Through its front group InCAR (Inter-
national Committee Against Racism),
PL backhandedly backs Washington.
At a November 24 Washington cam-
paign meeting at Circle campus, InCAR
activists passed out a groveling open
letter to the "Honorable Harold Wash-
ington" asking him to support their
program to fight unemployment. But in
Challenge (8 December 1982), a "Chica-
go Reader" column (which has generally
expressed the PL party line) denounced
Washington not as the Democratic
capitalist politician that he is, but as a
black nationalist and therefore a "social
"We should never make the mistake of
considering black social fascists tike
Washington and Palmer any less
dangerous than the open white fascists
like the KKK and the Nazis."
Is this the same "Chicago Reader" who
last summer tried to excuse PL's failure
to defend Chicago blacks when the
Nazis came to attack Gay Pride Day,
with the reactionary line that gays and
Nazis are "two sides of the same coin"?
Does this mean that InCAR members
are asking a KKK equivalent to support
their program? To equate black Demo-
crats with the Klan/Nazis is dangerous,
stupid and racist.
Class Struggle, Not Black
Democratic Mayors
If Harold Washington were elected,
his job would be to keep the lid on black
and labor struggle in a potentially
explosive situation. As the bread lines
get longer and cop terror escalates, some
in the ruling circles have begun to
express open fears about "a Miami" in
Chicago. Furthermore, with rumors of a
national steel strike next August, the
industrialists and financiers who give
the orders need a city boss whom they
can trust to ruthlessly crush class
struggle against the layoffs, plant
closings and slashing of the city's social
services. The powerful and integrated
Chicago labor movement stands as the
main obstacle to the bosses' racist
austerity plans. They may decide they
need a black face for that high place in
The Machine to better grind down the
Harold Washington has already
gained a hearing from a section of
Chicago's business elite reflected in a
favorable front-page article ("Underrat-
ed Washington has skills, organization
for tough mayoral fight") in the right-
wing Crain's Chicago Business (13-19
December 1982). Crain's cited Washing-
ton's "track record as an effective
legislator who reaches out to his
constituency," noting that "while the
congressman wants to rock the boat in
Chicago, he doesn't want to sink it." It
quotes him saying, "My liberal back-
ground doesn't dictate that I come down
heavy on business (for more tax
revenues) ... business, like other groups,
must exist." And it reports that Wash-
ington has scheduled meetings with
"leaders of Chicago's business commu'"
nity to understand their problems."
Ever since the late 1960s the
capitalists have had more and more
trouble administering the decaying and
ghettoized big cities, and have looked to
black Democratic mayors to do their
dirtiest work. In Cleveland's long hot
summer of 1967. the word in the ghetto
was, "Cool it for Carl"-Carl Stokes,
the first black elected mayor of a major
industrial city. A decade later, at least 26
medium and large cities were being run
by black Democrats (Chicago Reader,
26 November 1982). But things have
gotten much worse for the ghetto
masses. In Detroit, Coleman Young has
presided over layoffs of hundreds of
thousands of auto workers. He ruthless-
ly crushed a strike of mainly black city
workers in 1979 so that he could
welcome the Republican convention.
From ex-cop Thomas Bradley in Los
Angeles to ex-SNCC activist Marion
Barry in Washington, Democratic black
mayors have proved you don't have
to be white to administer Reagan's
program of racist austerity and
The architects of today's black Demo-
cratic campaign for mayor of Chicago,
like Jesse Jackson and Lu Palmer. were
yesterday's Martin Luther King liberals
who led the civil rights movement to
defeat in the North as they ran up
against the hard economic realities of
black oppression in capitalist America.
It was in the white Chicago suburb of
Cicero that the racist backlash first
mobilized in the streets, and King called
off the fight for integrated housing. In
1981, when Lu Palmer was asked to
support labor/black action against
fascists targeting Chicago minorities, his
response was the same: "Aw brother, I
can't deal with it." But a Spartacist
League-initiated mobilization did deal
with it, bringing out more than 3,000
blacks, trade unionists, Jews, gays to
stop the Nazi provocation in Lincoln
Park last June. And in Washington on
November 27, the 5,000-strong SL-
organized Labor/Black Mobilization
stopped the Ku Klux Klan from
marching even before they put on their
white robes of racist terror.
This is the class-struggle road to black
freedom in America. Not endlessly
singing "We Shall Overcome" while
voting for the racist capitalist party of
Jimmy ("ethnic purity") Carter /
Mondale and KKK dragon Tom Metz-
ger, but black liberation through social-
ist revolution! Chicago doesn't need
machine Democrats in blackface run-
ning City Hall for the bosses. It needs
militant labor/black struggle in the
streets, in the factories-sitdowns, not
soup lines! Chicago's working masses
need fighting leaders to organize the
unemployed and unorganized, to turn
the unions into organizations for
struggle, not "givebacks." Blacks and
workers must break with the Democrats
to build a party of their own-a multi-
racial, class-struggle workers party
fighting for a workers government.
ASpartacist Pamphlet $1.00

Workers Revolution
Slack leadership
PVblo$h,"9 Co 60' 1377. GPO ... NY 10116
Make checks payable/mall to:
Spartaclst Publishing Co.,
Box 1377 GPO, New York, NY 10116
No Choice for Workers" Blacks in Chicago May.oral Election
Harold Washinuon:
Black Machine Democrat
Gunn/Chicago Defender
Three cogs in the Democratic Machine: Richard M, Daley (left), Harold
Washington (center), Richard Newhouse.
CHICAGO-Once again, the Demo-
cratic primary here February 22 will
decide who will run Chicago for the
financiers and industrialists. For de-
cades the Machine has been squeezing
the life out of Chicago's working people,
particularly blacks. With the city in an
economic tailspin along with the rest of
industrial America, the Democrats have
been looking hard for a Big Boss to heal
their system of ward heelers and junior
political bosses-a system which has
remained fractured since the death of
"King" Richard Daley in 1976. Sections
of the Democratic Party machine are
running their own candidates (Republi-
cans don't count here): incumbent Jane
Byrne, Daley's son Richard M. and
black Democrat Harold Washington.
The Washington campaign is being
touted as the great hope for Chicago's
blacks who are pounded harder than
ever before. Along with the hustler for
"black capitalism," Jesse Jackson, the
black D,:mocratic pols are trying to sell
Washington as the answer to the record
unemployment which has put so many
black steel workers on the soup lines.
Now the reformist left has jumped in to
hail the candidacy of this mainline
Democrat as an "independent" cham-
pion against the Machine. But the
Washington campaign is no expression
of black outrage. The black Democrats
behind this mayoral bid, like campaign
manager Al Raby, are among those who
put down the ghetto explosions of 1965
and 1968. Farfrom being an "independ-
ent," Washington is part of and support-
ed by the same Democratic machine
whose cops murdered Black Panthers
Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in their
Over one million black people live
here; no mayoral candidate can win
without a chunk of the black vote. But
publicity hound Byrne's racist antics
have outraged Chicago blacks, and the
politicians smell trouble. The Demo-
cratic Machine's problem is how to keep
the myriad and hostile ethnic groups in
line. Roman Pucinski, whose Northwest
Side fiefdom has more Poles than
anywhere outside of Warsaw, has been
making noises about running an ethnic
"backlash" campaign if Washington
takes the Democratic primary. Mean-
while, times are hard; City Hall doesn't
have the cash for Daley-type patronage
anymore. And it's sitting on a powder
keg of seething discontent and
The City That Doesn't Work
For some time Chicago has been the
city that doesn't work, especially for
blacks. More than a third of black
Chicago lives on incomes below the
poverty level and 20 percent of the city
subsists on welfare. With steel produc-
ing at 37 percent capacity nationally,
35.000 Chicago-area steel workers are
out of work. Last year International
Harvester posted fourth-quarter losses
of more than a billion dollars-the
largest deficit in U.S. corporate
history-and may close its Melrose
Park plant permanently. In this most
segregated of segregated U. S. cities. life
is especially hellish for black people.
The rotten schools only prepare ghetto
youth for the jobless despair of the
streets. And as "white flight" has made
the public schools overwhelmingly (83
percent) black and Latin, busing is now
officially dead and buried.
It takes a municipal bonaparte to run
Chicago for the capitalists, and despite
her high-handed ways Jane Byrne hasn't
put Daley's kingdom back together.
Elected in 1978 after Michael Bilandic
let the snow pile up in the streets
(particularly in black neighborhoods),
Byrne promised to make Chicago once
again "the city that works." Instead, she
continued on page 15
Jobless and Black in Reagan's America
This was the scene in Chicago
January 6 when over 40,000 people
applied for 3,800 temporary city jobs,
ten-week maintenance jobs to be
financed by the new federal gasoline
tax. As soon as Reagan signed the tax
bill, Mayor Jane Byrne scurried to get
the jobs started in time for the all-
important Democratic primary-after
which they'll be. back on the side-
walks without even unemployment
Meanwhile, last week the govern-
ment released December unemploy-
ment figures, showing how particularly
industrial workers and blacks are
victimized in the capitalist economic
crisis. The official unemployment rate
for blacks rose six-tenths of a percent-
age point to 20.8 percent. But the
Labor Department claims the overall
rate merely rose one-tenth of a point, to
"only" 10.8 percent. To accomplish this
they used their usual sleight-of-hand,
eliminating 200,000 people from the
workforce, people whose unemploy-
ment has run out and are now consid-
ered "discouraged workers." Counting
all those wiped off the rolls brings the
jobless total not to 12 million people as
claimed, but well over 15 million, even
more than at the height of the Great
Depression in the '30s.
To top matters off, as the crisis
deepens starting next month the gov-
ernment will include U.S. m ~ t a r y
personnel in employment statistics, so
as to artificially lower the unemploy-
ment rate. And if the Democrats
, ~
and Republicans get their Cold War
anti-Soviet war drive going any
hotter, maybe they'll find other
ways of eliminating people from the
workforce ....
14 JANUARY 1983